Applied Technologies

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Computer Aided Design (CAD) are three components of the suite of tools our technicians utilize on a daily basis to design conservation practices to improve environmental quality in Winnebago County. We strive to be on the forefront of employing technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness in our work.

We added an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to the department in 2018. The UAV or drone is used to capture aerial photos and video of existing conditions, construction progress, and mapping data. This powerful tool will allow for better commnunication, high resolution mapping, and improved project monitoring. The department has 2 FAA Certified Part 107 Pilots and maintains strict operating procedures.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS is computer software that allows us to graphically represent various data layers. Our department has had GIS capabilities since 1995. We have recently improved web mapping capabilities to include creating mobile based apps for data collection in the field. The link below will move you to our GIS portal.

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Global Positioning System (GPS)

In 2001, our department purchased a Trimble unit that is capable of sub-centimeter accuracy. It utilizes satellites that determine latitude and longitude as well as the elevation of any site within the county. In 2018, the department acquired 2 new GPS units that will allow our department to double our survey capability, reducing time and improving service!

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LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)

LiDAR is very high resolution data that allows for 3-D modeling of the landscape. In 2017 Winnebago County recieved its first LiDAR data. We use the LiDAR data to model elevations, thereby providing technicians with the ability to design projects with highly accurate elevations. Other products include creating 3D maps classifying, trees, water, and building footprints creating powerful visualization tools. You may download individual LiDAR data by accessing the shared drive: LiDAR One Drive.


Computer Aided Design (CAD)

This is computer software that allows our technicians to produce high quality designs for various conservation practices.  It allows us to integrate GIS data layers and elevation data from our GPS unit.


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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV/Drone)

Winnebago County LWCD has the first official drone program in the County! We utilize our UAV affectionately known as "Blinky" to capture a variety of images and video. Our two FAA Certified pilots can capture simple oblique photographs to mapping entire fields or project sites. The UAV can capture important construction photos simply not possible with a standard camera.

Grazing UAV photo



Coughlin pond video

Boom Bay long flight video

Rain garden video

Ricebeds video