Evanston resident Joel Freeman has won the city’s geographic information system aerial photography contest.

Freeman took the city’s community challenge and guessed that the photo of Fountain Square in the city’s new aerial photography, now on the city website, was taken at 1:06 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2007. Freeman missed the mark by only six minutes; the photo was taken at 1 p.m.

Freeman said he used a combination of shadows, the train schedule and weather reports as clues to determine his best guess. There were 103 entries in the contest.

Freeman won a large format glossy aerial photography map of Evanston.

The city launched the contest to feature the new aerial photography, which provides detail and clarity with an extremely high three-inch ground pixel resolution, allowing fire hydrants and other small features to be identified. Current and accurate photography is an essential part of the city’s GIS, which is increasingly being used to provide highly visible and critical services.

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