Aerial survey 
is under way

The Lands and Survey Department of the Cayman Islands Ministry of Finance, District Administration, Lands, Works and Agriculture has been undertaking a new aerial survey campaign.  

Large white crosses, 3 to 12 feet in length, have been painted along the roadways of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. They are requisite ground markers to facilitate the ortho-rectification aspects of the aerial imagery.  

Normally the imagery is updated every four years; although the last revision took place in 2008, five years ago because of a lack of money. The end product is a high resolution aerial imagery depicting a “snapshot” of ground details and development since the last exercise.  

A twin-engine aircraft is being used to capture the imagery. It is slated to fly at an altitude of 3,000 feet in a parallel flight pattern with specified overlaps from coast to coast, including the coral reefs. Digital imagery data will be continuously captured every five seconds along the flight path, until the three islands have been completed.  

The new imagery is used for many purposes, including the update of tourist road maps; production of a revised version of the Street Atlas of the Cayman Islands; the revision of topographical details of land-use plans; monitoring erosion and accretion along the entire coastline of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman; as a tool in determining proposed location of new roadways; and to monitor mangrove growth or loss in areas not easily accessible. 

The data is most often used by Lands and Survey, by NRA in planning the location of new roads, by the Planning Department to determine land use, DOE for monitoring the extent of the mangrove, Police and 911 to direct emergency vehicles and other government departments in their day-to-day activities.  

Many private sector companies have an interest in the new imagery. These include realtors who use it to show location of properties for sale; land surveyors in executing legal and other type surveys; valuators, quantity surveyors and land appraisers to determine property values, development and other changes over the years; architects, engineers; and property developers to ascertain the general condition of a piece of property prior to starting development. At times, even individual landowners who are interested in an aerial photograph of their land parcel request various prints of their specific areas of interest.  

The project is expected to be completed no later than June. 

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