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Indiana Department of Transportation

INDOT > About INDOT > Central Office > Land & Aerial Survey Office > Land & Aerial Survey Office Facts Land & Aerial Survey Office Facts

Office information
Land & Aerial Survey Office is located at 120 S. Shortridge Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46219. The office is comprised of two sections, Land Survey and Aerial Survey. Together they work in conjunction to provide high quality aerial image products and ground survey support. We have the ability to complete projects anywhere in the state whether for aerial mapping or land survey services.  For a complete description of the office and what we do visit our office website at Land & Aerial Survey home page.

Aerial Survey Section products and services
Aerial Survey can provide in-house aerial photography for preliminary engineering/planning, design scale photography, oblique photography, all in a digital format, together with design mapping products using photogrammetric processing anywhere in the state. In addition, we have two on-call consultant contracts available for projects that may need to be out-sourced.

Land Survey Section products and services
The Survey Section of the Land & Aerial Survey Office has a field crew available that can provide a variety of survey services across the state. They primarily provide support for the aerial mapping projects we complete which includes aerial targets and setting and locating, horizontal & vertical control, and supplemental topographic. In addition, we can provide ground survey topography for surveys not suitable for aerial mapping, right-of-way staking, pick-up surveys for previous projects, soil boring stakeout, and route plat creation. In addition, we have six survey consultant on-call contracts available for projects that may need to be out-sourced.

Aerial Survey cost effectiveness
In general, it becomes more cost effective to utilize aerial mapping, as opposed to conventional ground surveying, on projects that are 2 miles in length or longer. However, cost should not be the only consideration. On projects that would normally require a significant amount of field work in high traffic areas, the use of aerial mapping is an effective means to reduce the exposure of staff to hazardous situations and reduce the impact to the traveling public. Time is also a consideration. It takes time to plan and setup an aerial mapping project, as well as establishing control on the ground. In addition, existing ground conditions (i.e. snow cover, vegetation) and flight conditions will affect when we can acquire the aerial photos.

Time to complete aerial mapping
The amount of area and the amount of elements in that area that need to be mapped will dictate how long it takes us to map a project. This is why it is critical to give us as much information on your project as possible, as early as possible, so we can give you an accurate estimate on a delivery date. If we can’t meet the schedule using in-house resources, the other option is out-sourcing to a consultant with more staffing resources available. However, project funds must be available and time allotted for processing a purchase order.

Aerial Equipment/software
For aerial projects, we fly a Cessna 206 single engine, fixed wing aircraft specifically configured and modified for aerial image acquisition using a Leica RC30 film camera. In addition, we can acquire oblique aerial photos for projects to provide aerial views of project areas and/or construction progress for display purposes. We use the ASCOT flight planning software, the Leica Photogrammetry Suite for aerotriangulation, ortho photo creation, and stereocompilation. We have recently transitioned Bentley’s InRoads design software together with Microstation for all new projects. However, we do still maintain the ability to use MX for older projects that were collected or designed in older formats.

For land survey, we primarily use Trimble survey instruments including robotic total stations, data collectors, GPS receivers, and digital levels. Our statewide GPS network (InCORS) uses Leica Geosystems equipment antenna, receivers and software. In the office, we use the Trimble survey software for processing data, Bentley’s InRoads Survey together with Microstation for CADD. Again we maintain the ability to use MX for older projects that were collected or designed in older formats.

Consultant services
In some instances, a design consultant may have the need to sub-contract aerial imaging and/or mapping services, however our office must still coordinate those services to ensure cost effectiveness, efficiencies, and that all established standards are met or exceeded. INDOT has made a significant investment in aerial imaging and mapping resources (i.e. aircraft, camera, pilot, photographer, photogrammetrist, etc) and it is essential these resources are utilized to the fullest extent in order to get the higher return on that investment for Indiana taxpayers.

When to request aerial survey services
Obviously the more notice we receive the better. There are two main processes to consider; acquiring the aerial images, and completing the mapping product. There are a number of variables that must be taken into account in order to acquire aerial photography for design mapping. Some variables involved include, but are not limited to: accuracies required, sun angle, time of day, time of year, flight conditions, existing ground cover, and project details, i.e. location, length, area of coverage. Any of these variables can affect the time required to acquire aerial imagery.

Depending on the mapping product required, there are also variables that affect how long a particular project will take to complete. Again we must consider project details; length of project, type of area requiring mapping (urban, rural, mix), width of coverage needed, and the amount of supplemental data needed is a huge factor. Supplemental data is that information that we can’t see from aerial photography, i.e. obscured from vegetation/canopy, subsurface utilities, under bridges, etc. Another consideration is our current work load.

This is why it is best to give us as much lead time as possible so we can determine the options depending on the project. As a rough guideline, normally giving us at least 4 months lead time will allow us to acquire the aerial photography and be prepared to begin mapping. Obviously the mapping time is dependent on the project.

How to request services
To request aerial mapping or survey services for a project contact the Land & Aerial Survey Office and provide the following information: Project DES#, scope of project, engineers report, limits of coverage (start and stop, left and right, S-lines, and any special areas), accuracies required, any pertinent deadlines and requested delivery date. For survey, indicate if previous plans or surveys were completed in project area. In addition, a work request form is available on our office website or at Aerial_Work_Request_Form_Filled.pdf

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