By Kristin Rover
Clermont County residents may begin recognizing a black truck with a Digital Data Technologies Inc., logo driving slowly along roads throughout the county.
While the vehicle does not stand out as much as a Google Maps car, its purpose is similar, to map all of the roads and addresses throughout the county using GPS technology.
“What they do is drive all of the roads in the county,” Kelly Perry, GIS administrator for Clermont County, said. “They GPS a road center line and pick up any addresses along the way.”
Perry said the county hired DDTI to complete the project and were able to pay for the services using grant funds.
“This is all through a grant from the state,” Perry said. “The program is called the Location Based Response System.”
Perry said the program was started by Ohio Department of Transportation.
Perry said the state provided $449,500 and the county contributed $16,888 to complete the project.
She said many of the counties in Ohio already use GPS mapping technology, however, many do not have up-to-date addresses.
She said one of the most important benefits of the new data is for emergency situations.
“It’s primarily helping residents from an emergency services standpoint,” Perry said. “We work with Clermont County Dispatch, and if they get a call that comes in, they have mapping. If that address doesn’t pop up, they have to use other means. This will hopefully make that much easier.”
Perry said the process also helps standardize the technology throughout the state, and provides important data to other county offices.
Mitch Pinkston and Jimmie Fout make up one of the DDTI teams currently driving the roads in the county to collect information.
Pinkston said they began the program in southern Clermont County and have been working their way north.
“In Clermont County we are about 75 percent through field collection and about 50 percent overall,” Pinkston said about the progress they have made.
Pinkston said that this week, they will be focusing on the Milford and Miami Township areas of Clermont County. He said their other team is focusing on Loveland.
“It takes about four to five months,” Pinkston said about the process.
Pinkston said the vehicles they drive have up-to-date GPS technology that maps out their location in the county.
He said that when they pass a home or business, they voice record the address for that location and mark it on the map.
“The button grabs coordinates,” Pinkston said. “It grabs addresses for every road.”
He said once they have collected all the data, they put everything together.
“Everything is field verified,” Pinkston said.
He said because they are seeing and recording an address it helps make the maps more accurate.
“The important thing is a lot of people can use this data,” Pinkston said. “But more important is safety services.”
Pinkston said they are on pace to finish the field collection in Clermont County in February and hope to be finished with the entire project in May or June.
For more information about Digital Data Technologies, visit www.ddti.net.