TORONTO, August 22, 2006 – Lambton County has been honoured with a Peter J. Marshall Innovation Award for the Southwestern Ontario Orthophotography Project (SWOOP), a project that combines digital aerial photographs to create a sophisticated map.
On behalf of over 100 participating municipalities, First Nations and region-wide entities, the Award was presented to Lambton’s Warden, Jim Burns and Corporate Manager, Robert Wilks at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) annual conference in Ottawa on August 15.

“The P.J. Marshall Award recognizes leaders and innovative practices that improve municipal programs, services and efficiencies for the benefit of the communities they serve,” said Doug Reycraft, President of AMO.  “SWOOP stands out for initiating multiple partnerships to make this project affordable, for making multifaceted information readily accessible, and for creating a common reference source to enhance communication between municipalities”. 

SWOOP encompasses all of Southwestern Ontario and is the largest digital photography project to date.

The digitalized maps have multiple uses including building inspection, planning, infrastructure inventory, locating tile beds, identifying drainage problems and improving emergency services.  

“This project is exciting because so many different groups require this kind of information and now they can instantly access information that used to be difficult and expensive to attain,” said Burns.  “The project is the result of an incredible amount of hard work at the hands of staff and partners, and I am proud to accept the Award on their behalf.” 

The P.J. Marshall Award is an annual competitive process, with submissions by Ontario municipalities that are judged on their creativity and success in implementing new, innovative ways of serving the public. 

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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