City's Topographic Mapping System Saves Time, Money and is More Accurate

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 9, Pg. 98-100

Document Type: Feature article


The city of Elgin, Ill. purchased its own topographic mapping system called Topo-Plan. The system consists of an aerial photo base map plus a transparent overlay showing 2-ft (0.60-m) contours and elevations of all land within and immediately surrounding the city. The maps are used by city officials for engineering, planning, public works and zoning. They are also used by private consultants on city construction projects and by developers of real estate projects within city jurisdiction. The new 2-ft (0.60-m) contour maps provide important advantages over the previously-used field surveys and 10-ft (3.00-m) contour USGS maps: (1)Savings in time and money because it is no longer necessary to wait for expensive field surveys for each project; (2)the more-accurate 2-ft (0.60-m) contours help avoid costly errors permitted by previously used 10-ft (3.00-m) USGS maps; and (3)they provide an overview of lands which may be annexed to the city in the future, permitting study of the effect current projects will have on other areas and future projects.

Subject Headings: Mapping | Project management | Urban areas | Urban and regional development | Field tests | Topography | Surveys (non-geomatic)

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