ILGISA Award to Lund for ILHAP Project

ISGS staff member Dee Lund Dee Lund received a Service Award from the Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA) at its fall conference. This award is presented to an individual or organization that has provided exemplary professional service or support to the GIS community. No more than three such awards are presented each year.

The award was for Lund's work on the Illinois Historical Aerial Photos (ILHAP) project to create, archive, and distribute a unique collection of more than 35,000 archival aerial photographs for Illinois. The photographs were taken from 1936-1941 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, scanning has been completed for 90 counties (almost 29,000 photographs), and the remaining county photographs will be completed in 2011. All of the aerial photographs are available at the Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse.

As noted in the fall ILGISA program, as the project progressed, Dee continually sought to overcome workflow obstacles while she personally manipulated each aerial photograph many times in a very complex sequence of tasks from identification of print collections, to creating GIS index data, to establishing on-line file access. Her skills at assessing numerous print collections, coordinating the transportation of secure photos between collection sites and scanning technicians, and working under tight project constraints are making it possible to complete the project to provide free access to Illinois' first historical aerial photographic collection of the state.

This collection of 1930s and 1940s aerial photographs is proving to be a valuable resource for geological mapping in Illinois because they show subtle landscape features, such as glacial features in northeastern Illinois, which are now obscured by suburban development. Additionally, the photographs were taken prior to current agricultural practices that can mask features such as the sinkholes in southwestern Illinois.