Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News Release

March 30, 2020

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MnDOT conducts aerial photography in west central Minnesota

Residents asked not to disturb temporary targets

Aerial photography target with UTV.
Aerial photography target. Crews place an “X” on the ground as a reference point. Click to enlarge.

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking residents not to disturb aerial photography targets as crews begin aerial mapping in Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Swift and Traverse counties.
Aerial mapping will take place in the following locations:

  • Highway 27 from Wheaton to County Road 11 east of Herman
  • Highway 104 from Highway 9 near Sunburg to Glenwood
  • Highway 108 from County Road 41 to Highway 78
  • Highway 114 from Highway 55 to Interstate 94

The aerial survey process relies on clear observations, and must be conducted after the snow has melted and before the trees leaf out. To begin the process crews place an “X” on the ground as a reference point for the aerial photographer. Weather permitting, work will begin as early as April 1.

Following guidance from state health officials and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, MnDOT crews will maintain social distancing practices while working.

Aerial mapping is used to create a record of existing infrastructure and landscape along MnDOT right of way for transportation planning and highway design. In order to obtain accurate aerial mapping, MnDOT crews paint large white “X” targets on paved surfaces, and place plastic or fabric “X” targets on unpaved surfaces.

A survey crew then records the coordinate position and elevation of the temporary targets for the aerial photography company. The plastic and fabric targets are temporary and will be removed when the photography is completed.

MnDOT requests that landowners not remove or disturb the targets, if possible, until the photography is completed. Letters have been mailed to affected landowners to further explain this process. If a target must be moved, please contact the District 4 survey office at 218-332-5644 or by email at jeremy.erickson@state.mn.us.