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Irvine Co. Scans Maps

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hoping to preserve fading and fragile architectural diagrams, the Irvine Co. has launched an ambitious effort to digitally scan and archive all hand-drawn maps of its many commercial properties.

The project is designed to help the Irvine Co.'s property managers work more efficiently--and help the company sign leasing deals more quickly, staff said. It will also assist potential tenants, who would otherwise have to wade through vaults filled with paper sketches to locate the drawings they need, said Dennis Potts, an associate with the Newport Beach architectural firm Gensler.

The land developer, working with Gensler and Irvine digital reproduction house OCB Reprographics Inc., has already stored more than 2,000 diagrams that show property details and boundaries of Fashion Island and Alton Square.

Each map was scanned and saved as an electronic file. These files were then organized by area, with cross-references to nearby structures and other key points. The data were then stored on CD-ROMs and housed at property management offices, where clients can access it.

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“It’s also a good way to preserve these drawings,” Potts said. He notes that paper used for such drawings darkens with age, so it becomes difficult to distinguish the background from the architectural notes.

“To see the [structural] drawings, you’d normally have to call several people and wait either a couple days or a couple weeks before you could actually see the drawings,” said Chuck Hayes, president of OCB. “This way, you can do the same thing in a matter of hours.”

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P.J. Huffstutter covers high technology for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at p.j.huffstutter@latimes.com.

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