Wisconsin Geospatial News

SCO Unveils On-line Digital Orthophoto Catalog

The SCO is happy to announce the public release of a new prototype web site dedicated to helping users learn about, search for, and potentially view or obtain digital orthophotos (DOPs). While still under development, the OrthoFinder site presents an interactive way to select and access metadata about past orthophoto projects in Dane County. The site also offers opportunities to learn about orthophoto production in general and how the OrthoFinder web tool was developed.

OrthoFinder is the focus of a one-year initiative at the SCO, funded by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, to develop the means through metadata to catalog and access digital orthophoto series. We anticipate that eventually OrthoFinder will be adapted to serve other counties or the whole state. For now, Dane County is good ground for the pilot project because of the variety of available DOPs covering the area.

OrthoFinder uses an interactive web mapping application to define the search area. You can select a set of DOP footprints to be displayed on a map of Wisconsin and can then zoom in on an area of interest. Clicking on a footprint brings up a subset of metadata about DOPs covering that area, including the extent of the project, the producer, the imagery date, and the resolution. In the educational resources, you will find basic information and links on what orthophoto are, how they are produced, how Wisconsin's various orthophoto coverage evolved, and how they are commonly used in GIS and mapping applications. This information is intended to help educate on this emerging and popular GIS theme and help a user decide which orthophotos to use when multiple overlapping choices are available. You can also learn about the OrthoFinder project itself, including the proposed application, the software behind the web tool, and a project progress report.

To try out OrthoFinder at its current stage of development, point your web browser to: www.geography.wisc.edu/sco/orthocat/

More information: OrthoFinder