Journal of the San Juan Islands


More to this 'deal' than meets the eye | Letters

April 21, 2013 · Updated 10:05 PM

The article in the Journal of the San Juan Islands, “Council Inks Aerial Photos Deal”, April 15, pg. 5, needs more explanation.

One of the main themes that came out of our Community Conversations is that the people in our county want more communication and given more facts about subjects.

This is not just Aerial Photography; this is “Oblique Photography” (see web site at www.pictometry.com).

From the web site we learn that Pictometry Oblique Imagery is called, “Intelligent Imagery… is capturing two types of imagery for every square foot of an area, oblique and vertical.” “……it reveals the world from a more natural perspective, so objects are easier to recognize and interpret. With resolutions as high as 3-inch Ground Sample Distance, you can see all in amazing detail and every feature, structure and parcel from North, South, East, West or straight down. When you layer GIS information on top of such meticulous imagery, you turn data into knowledge.”

This technology gives the county not only the ability to look at buildings from all angles and measuring heights of buildings, it also gives them the ability to see “every feature” and structure on your property in “amazing detail”.

I do not feel this technology fits in our county, or with our desire to keep the rural character of our county. My feed back from county islanders is that we want to preserve our privacy as much as possible.

This technology, in my opinion, infringes on those privacies. I have no problem with just updating our existing aerial photos with “straight down” technology when they need to be updated and when it is brought before the council as a “budgeted item”.

However, Marc Forlenza and I voted against updating our aerial photos because it was not a budgeted item and it would use oblique photography.

The council will be updated in the progress of the project. It is on the county council agenda at 11:15 a.m., Tuesday, April 23, in the council chambers.

Bob Jarman/County Councilman, District 1


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