LDD Project Spotlight: Georgia Mountains Regional Commission


The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC), in coordination with multiple local governments, captures aerial photography and light detection and ranging data (LiDAR) during leaf-off conditions. This collaborative effort saves the local government 40% over conducting this project on their own.  The imagery and LiDAR are being acquired to support the operation of local government Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for use and access by county and city managers, local economic development authorities, planning departments, emergency services, tax assessors and GIS staff.  By acquiring these data during leaf-off conditions, features on the ground can be seen more clearly such as fire hydrants, building edges, sidewalks, and manholes.

Aerial photography can have many different applications.  Multiple photographs of a specific site can be taken at the same height from the ground and combined with GIS to use with surveying, engineering, site planning, economic development, and aerial mapping.GMRC’s 2023 project area was flown in January through mid-February with final deliverables expected in September.  Project participants included 12 counties and one city spanning three Regional Commissions.  All participating governments with the exception of the City of Conyers are in the Appalachian Regional Commission region.

During our statewide Roadway Element Validation and Mapping Program (REVAMP) project for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), GMRC used imagery to locate crosswalks, sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian signals, on street parking, and bicycle lane presence.  The above picture is in downtown Hartwell.

The images below depict contours derived from LiDAR, drawn on top of imagery.  This application indicates the lay of the land, showing where slope may occur in this area of Banks County at the Fieldale Farms Plant.