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Tennessee Technology Director Receives National Award

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | 11:15am
Dennis Pedersen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s director of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has received an award for leadership from a national organization.

Dennis Pedersen, a 27-year state employee, was chosen for the Champion Award from the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), an organization promoting the use of GIS and other data for government service.

“Geospatial technology is now being used to improve state resource management, promote more effective and efficient business decisions, and improve the quality of life for Tennessee citizens,” Pedersen said.

NSGIC noted Pedersen’s work to collect, process and disseminate accurate LiDAR data across the state. LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a surveying method that uses laser to help generate precise, three-dimensional information about surface characteristics in Tennessee.

“After Nashville and much of Tennessee experienced unprecedented flooding in 2010 and 2011, we saw a clear need for better flood mapping, so we partnered with other agencies to develop LiDAR,” Pedersen said. “LiDAR is being used now to help Tennessee cities and counties access better data and save time and money. We’ve made LiDAR information available for anyone in the state to use.”

LiDAR mapping and other information is available on the state’s website at https://www.tn.gov/finance/sts-gis/gis/gis-projects/gis-projects-elevation.html. To see a map of project areas with links to data downloads, click on a location using the LiDAR Coverage and Download Map Application.

Strategic Technology Solutions serves as the state's central information technology service bureau to state departments.

NSGIC strives to be the premier state-led forum for developing, exchanging and endorsing geospatial technology and policy best practices.