Geo Week News

January 2, 2014

U.S. aerial mapping veteran retires after 40 years


Quantum Spatial’s Tony Follett started with Aero-Metric in 1973

North America’s largest geospatial and location-based services firm, Quantum Spatial, Inc., said Thursday its senior vice president and Alaska region manager, Tony Follett, has retired after 40 years in the business.

Since joining the firm in 1973, Follett was responsible for operations in Alaska, Western Canada and Hawaii for Aero-Metric, Inc., based in Sheboygan, Wis. In August, Aero-Metric’s parent company, Arlington Capital Partners, acquired Lexington, Ky.-based GMR Aerial Surveys, Inc. (dba Photo Science) and Watershed Sciences, Inc. (WSI) and merged them together to create the nation’s largest aerial mapping firm.

“My introduction to our profession was Frank Moffitt’s classic textbook simply titled, “Photogrammetry,” Follett recounted. “Over the past 45 years, technology has changed dramatically, yet my fascination and enthusiasm for the possibilities has remained unabated.”

Follett was involved in all facets of the business with a particular focus on photogrammetry, surveying and geospatial project management. He was also involved in the design, planning, and management of over 1,500 geospatial projects.

Follett also led the firm’s software division, DAT/EM Systems International, into export markets, having secured several projects in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Last year, Follett was elected to the Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference’s Hall of Fame for his, “exemplary contributions of surveying and mapping.”

He has also been a member of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) since 1968. He was elected an ASPRS Fellow in 2006, received ASPRS presidential citations in 1980 and 1988, and is a past president of the Alaska Region of ASPRS.

Follett has also been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 1969 and was an active participant in MAPPS, serving as its president from 1995-1997.

Follett is currently chairman of the Export Council of Alaska for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He has been a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage Advisory Boards for the School of Engineering since 2004 and for the Department of Geomatics since 1985.

Follett earned his Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, majoring in Photogrammetric & Geodetic Engineering, from the University of Illinois in 1971. In 1969 he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. He also did Post-Graduate Study in Forest Management at Oregon State University from 1971-1972.

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