Saturday, May 7, 2011

City Council, May 9th - Maps!

As if on cue for Emily in the SJ and DSS, Monday night at Council brings a mapping project!

For people on bike and on foot, maps aren't merely a plot of locations. They are also a set of relations. Distances distend and flex, the grid of space warps and bends. Hills lengthen or shrink perceived distance, depending on direction and steepness of slope. They affect more than merely the dimension of time. ("Are we there yet?" is a question with many dimensions!) Even without particular landmarks, historic districts and nature both stimulate and provide interest. Car traffic, exhaust, parking lots and bad architecture annoy and even numb. We do not experience space neutrally!*

Back to the matter at hand, there don't seem to be any items of core interest for bicycling or even ground transportation, however, so mostly bullet points for the moment.

Did you know the word orthophotography? Me neither. But apparently the City has a regular orthophotography habit:
Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to execute a cooperative agreementwith the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to receive funds to help offset the cost of acquisition of high-resolution digital imagery....This cooperative agreement (Attachment 1**) allows for a federal assistance payment up to $55,000 to be made to the City of Salem by the USGS in exchange for high-resolution orthophotography of the Salem area (see letter of commitment, Attachment 2). The City periodically updates these images (every three to five years) by contracting with a company that performs this fly-over data acquisition.
The level of detail is spy-level nuts:
Ground Resolution (pixel size) shall be 6 inches for the Salem Urban Area and 1 foot for the expanded boundary. The natural color source photography needs to be of sufficient quality and resolution to support production of digital orthorectified images to this specification.

And the bullets:* I call this the psychogeography of space.

** The contract also encourages seat belt use, and prohibits both text messaging while driving and the procurement of commercial sex acts. (Seriously!)

(Map detail from 1939/47 USGS Quad - Thanks Bob!)

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