The National Digital Orthophoto Programs Committee (NDOP) was chartered in 1993 as a consortium of four federal agencies to develop and maintain national orthoimagery coverage primarily through multi-agency, governmental partnerships. Since 1995, NDOP membership has grown to include eight federal agencies, plus the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). I currently serve as the NSGIC representative to the committee, and also as the current NDOP Chair.
On May 14-18, the NDOP held a semi-annual committee meeting in Tallahassee, FL. Nowadays, the focus of the committee is on the proposed Imagery for the Nation initiative originally proposed by NSGIC in 2004. The NDOP committee will be developing over the next six months a much greater level of detail on technical specifications, and program and management issues. Work on these issues will involve federal, state and local government participation.
On the immediate horizon, the next major item regarding the IFTN initiative will be the release in mid-July of an IFTN Cost Benefit Study (CBA). Perot Systems, Inc. is conducting this major piece of research and analysis work under contact with the U.S. Geological Survey and the USDA Farm Service Agency.
The CBA will compare costs over a 10-year period of the way orthoimagery is currently collected and achieved vs. the potential methods that could be possible under the IFTN proposal. The study will also look at overall risks and benefits to the proposed program. In doing the IFTN analysis, Perot Systems has conducted in-person interviews with private-sector photogrammetric firms and state, local, and federal government agencies. In all, Perot will have surveyed 643 different “programs” for input into the IFTN analysis.