Soaring to new heights of mapping

Beacon Aviation sets its sights to county-wide aerial imaging


Beacon Aviation Inc. has been going “out on a wing and a prayer” since its founding 25 years ago. Marty Gould, vice president of Beacon, says taking chances is nothing new for the digital aerial mapping company located at the Wood County Airport.

The company uses planes, camera equipment and mapping to determine elevations and important map information for mining, oil and gas, the Texas Department of Transportation and rural water districts. Now, they’ve amped up their technology and want to contribute to Wood County local government. This year, Beacon is creating high-resolution imagery for all of Wood County.

With a recent investment in technology called direct geo-referencing, imagery is now high quality, produced faster and less expensive, Gould stated.

“On speculation we have mapped all of Wood County. We want to reposition ourselves as county wide mapping service and our first mapping is Wood County, which makes sense because it’s home and we’ve already had great success with it, Gould said. “We’ve already had several clients that have purchased our imagery.”

Beacon is also looking at mapping airports across the state and region.

“We would like nothing more than for the county to use our imagery that is second to none. We would like taxpayer dollars to be saved because we’ve got a better product at a better price. We’re debt free, small overhead, high quality product at about 40 percent less compared to the competition,” Gould said.

He called this latest tech a game-changer. They’re also using geographic information system (GIS) capabilities to deliver a complete aerial intelligence package.

Beacon teamed up with BIS Consulting to make the mapping available on the Cloud for the world to view.

Gould envisions the county’s map being available from a multitude of platforms.

Gould noted that Beacon’s mapping capabilities can help the county through revenue generation, tax assessment, utilities, law enforcement and real estate. Police and fire department can access the maps in their vehicles to see how to enter and exit areas during emergencies. Utilities officials can see resources for water, electricity and sewer. School districts can be mapped to provide security measures.

“Pulling all of this good information into a powerful GIS allows for the rapid dissemination to occur, whether that be for the expansion of our airport’s runway or the planning needed to enhance our Mineola Nature Preserve, or the development of a new park on our beautiful Lake Fork, or the creation of a new TxDOT overpass within our county… it all becomes easy to share,” he said.

Todd Richardson, I-20 Team real estate broker, said the aerial imagery produced by Beacon would be a great service to the Lindale Rural Water Board, which he serves on.

“After serving on the LEDC (Lindale Economic Development Commission) some years ago, I believe having detailed aerials would have been very helpful. The aerials you provide would be great for current and future planning,” Richardson said in an email to Gould. “I am excited Lindale Rural Water system will be using your company to help us save money in our day-to-day operations and also assist us with future planning.”

Richardson added that having Beacon Aviation would also benefit the appraisal district in Wood County.

“We usually just go to Google Maps or another source. It would be great to have your (Gould’s) work available for us,” Richardson said.

For more information on how Beacon Aviation works with its clients, visit its website at