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Nov 22, 2007

Mapping Errors Make News

It's been a tough week for mapmakers it seems.

First the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that flood maps issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contained a elevation error of five feet.

The error resulted from a misplaced minus sign. That means that instead of reducing floodwaters by 5-1/2 feet, the Corps' new gates and levee repairs in the Lakeview and Old Metairie area will only reduce flooding by 1/2 of a foot.

The Corps discovered the error after a public even, held on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landing on the Gulf Coast, to announce the release of the maps:

Federal Gulf Coast Recovery Chief Donald Powell had called the reduced flood risk one of the most important events in the state's recovery. "If I were in the real estate business, or if I were anticipating coming to live in New Orleans, the first thing I would look at are these maps we're releasing today," he said at a June 21 news conference.

Meanwhile, the Delmarva Daily Times says that Snow Hill, Maryland officials met to change the zoning of a piece of property back to residential from business. That same body had just recently changed the zoning to business when the planning department determined early maps zoned the area for business. Unfortunately, there were some streets that was misnamed in those previous zoning maps.

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