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See Middlesex County from above

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See detailed aerial photos, tax maps of Middlesex County and much more at http://www.co.middlesex.va.us. Above, the Middlesex Courthouse Complex area in Saluda.
by Tom Chillemi

Anyone who has looked at Google Earth or used GPS to navigate knows the vast amount of knowledge that is displayed with maps. The really good news is the power of mapping science information is available at no cost.

Over the past few years, the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) has distributed color aerial photography, called orthophotographs, or “orthos” for short, explained Stan Hovey of Urbanna.

Click here to view fascinating aerial photos of your house, or any parcel in Middlesex. Choose from roads, parcels or aerial imagery.

The website map can easily display property outlines, adjacent roads, and a background aerial photo showing all the buildings, vegetation, water, cars, and even details down to an amazing 6 inches to a foot in size.

Map visitors can get online help by calling Glenn Nix, the Middlesex E-911 manager, at 758-8112, or Hovey at 758-0258.

Hovey had an extensive career in forestry and mapping.  He now serves on the VGIN Advisory Board, which approved its first strategic plan in January. One VGIN goal is to inform the public about the extensive uses for online mapping data that are available at no cost.

Hovey explained there are many applications for mapping sciences with hundreds of jobs waiting to be filled each year. “Well-paying jobs in mapping are increasing at a double-digit pace annually,” said Hovey. 

The Virginia Department of Education already has programs in place to teach students in grades 6-12 about mapping sciences. The state’s courses are available, at a very minimal cost, to the Middlesex County Public School System. 

Middlesex Public School Superintendent Rusty Fairheart, who met with Hovey recently, said he is interested in mapping science. “We are excited about exploring the possibility of including a program of this nature into our career and technical education offerings,” Fairheart said.

Careers

By completing these courses, high school graduates can find well-paying jobs right away, others may go to college to further specialize in mapping sciences, said Hovey.

Nearly all the 3,400-plus counties in the United States have needs for mapping technicians. The private sector also has a need for engineering, mapping, remote sensing and environmental consultant firms throughout the U.S., as well as internationally. 

TV news relies on satellite image maps to communicate, as in the recent reporting on the Haiti earthquake.

“Modern mapping is here for everyone in Middlesex to use every day!” said Hovey.

Hovey said he would like to hear from anyone who is interested in mapping. Call him at 758-0258 or email

posted 03.04.2010

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