University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Geospatial News

USDA program flying statewide color orthophotos in 2005

There is yet another imagery acquisition project happening in Wisconsin during 2005. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Aerial Imagery Program (NAIP) is in full swing this summer. NAIP is designed to replace the USDA-Farm Service Agency’s 35mm slides program for inventorying crop cover and updating farm records. NAIP is a statewide program without coverage gaps; in other years, FSA had large no-fly areas in northern Wisconsin.

Unlike most county and municipal projects where the imagery is acquired during springtime “leaf off” conditions, true-color NAIP imagery is acquired during the summer growing season. Another key difference is spatial resolution. While many county-sponsored projects now have a 12 or 18 inch spatial resolution, NAIP is a 1-meter product. In addition, the absolute positional accuracy of the NAIP imagery is +/- 3 meters compared to DOQQs derived in 1992-98 through the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP).

Preliminary products this fall, final delivery in 2006
The current plan is to make preliminary Wisconsin NAIP products available via the WisconsinView website this fall. These preliminary products will be county-based mosaics in MrSID format, projected to the predominant UTM zone (15 or 16) in each respective county. Unlike the final deliverable, these early products will not undergo any tonal balancing, or significant QA/QC. As a side note, 2-meter resolution imagery from the 2004 NAIP program will be available for 32 counties via WisconsinView later this summer.

The final products will be available in summer 2006 from the USDA Aerial Photography Field Office, and WisconsinView. Two formats will be available: a county file in compressed MrSID format, and individual DOQQ tiles in GeoTIFF format. All final products will be projected to UTM Zone 15 or 16.

The 2005 Wisconsin NAIP project was made possible through a partnership of 13 Wisconsin counties along with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Surdex Corp. of St Louis, Missouri is the contractor for the $733,900 Wisconsin NAIP project.

For more information, contact Larry Cutforth (USDA-FSA) at (608) 662-4422 x139.