12:00 AM

Digitalized Map Project Funded


     COLUMBUS -- Thanks to a partnership at federal, state, and
university levels, industries and state agencies in Ohio will be
able to use digital maps to make more efficient decisions.

     These computer-readable maps, which can represent many kinds
of data at once, will be made available through the cooperation
of the U.S. Geological Survey, five state agencies, and the
Center for Mapping at The Ohio State University.

     A four-year, $4.9 million grant approved Monday (9/27)
includes a $2.45 million contribution from the federal agency,
and the contributions of cash and labor from five agencies of the
state: the Ohio departments of Development, Natural Resources,
and Transportation; the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; and
the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

     Under the direction of John Bossler and Raul Ramirez of the
Center for Mapping, the program, called the Digital Base Map
Project, will result in a digitized map of Ohio that includes
information useful to a variety of state agencies and to any
business considering a site within the state.

     "Lewis and Clark couldn't find their way west efficiently
because they didn't have a map." Bossler said.  "Today,
industries and state planners can't make decisions efficiently
without the help of digital maps."

     Bossler, director of Ohio State's center and professor of
geodetic science and surveying, gave an example of how a
digitized map helped South Carolina attract a BMW plant.  The
automaker was seeking a site close to both a port and a railroad
station, within two minutes of an interstate highway, and in an
area where land was cheap and warehouses were plentiful.

     "It's possible to overlay that type of information on a
computer screen and quickly find sites that fit the criteria,"
Bossler said.  The Digital Base Map Project will incorporate
information about public land surveys, waterways, topography,
boundaries and transportation routes.

     All of these data currently exist in conventional "hardcopy"
or paper form.  To convert these data into digital form, staff at
the Center for Mapping will feed large maps into a computer
scanner -- a time-consuming process that will take the four years
allotted to the project, Bossler said.

     "If we think of the state in terms of 788 squares that cover
the area of Ohio, scanning the information and correcting the
errors for each square will take about 200 working hours," he

     Once a map is digitized, it is easier to change than a
conventional map and can be transmitted over electronic networks
just like any other data, he added.

Contacts:  John Bossler, (614) 292-1612,
           or Raul Ramirez, (614) 292-1622.

[Submitted by: REIDV  (reidv@ccgate.ucomm.ohio-state.edu)
Tue, 28 Sep 93 11:21:12 EST]
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