Winter 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2008 Conference Summary
From the Chair

New Scholarship Chair

Drive to Excellence Update
2008 FSA Photos
Mn/DOT Image Services

MetroGIS Services Forum

Carver Recreation Portal
Stearns Property Mgmt. Portal
Goodhue Americorps Projects

2009 CAP Grants

Higher Education
UofM GIS Resources
Goodchild Talk

Resources for Educators

Craig NSGIC Chair

Borchert Conservation Hero

Other Places
Strange Maps
GIS Day Video



2008 Statewide Air Photos Online
By Nancy Rader and Chris Cialek, Land Management Information Center
New statewide digital aerial photographs have arrived! Flown this past summer as part of the Farm Service Agency’s National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), these one-meter resolution orthoimages include four bands: natural color (red, green and blue) and near-infrared.
Natural color image of an area in Wabasha County.
Near infrared image of the same area.
The 2008 photos were orthorectified using ground control (absolute accuracy), rather than using other air photos as had been done with Minnesota’s 2003 NAIP imagery. The Minnesota Department of Transportation supervised ground control target placement; more than 500 targets were installed and surveyed around the state before the imagery was collected. Early testing indicates that the horizontal accuracy of the new imagery well exceeds the accuracy of the 2003 NAIP imagery (~5 meters) and the current federal published specification of 6 meters.
How to Get Them
LMIC provides three options for accessing the photos:
  • Compressed County Mosaics: Download county files in JPEG2000 format from LMIC’s FTP server. The files include all four bands and, although compressed, are very large – the biggest counties are split into two or three pieces.
  •  WMS: Using GIS software, access the images via LMIC’s Geospatial Image Server. Using this option saves you the trouble of downloading and storing the county files. Display time is usually much faster than using the county files, and the images are seamless across county boundaries.
  •  NorthStar Mapper: This online viewer requires only a Web browser, and lets you view the photos, overlay other reference layers, and download portions of the photos in JPEG format.
Partnership Effort
The photos are available thanks to a federal-state partnership. Two-thirds of the $1.3 million cost is being covered by federal agencies, and one-third of the cost is supported by the following Minnesota state agencies:
  • Department of Transportation
  • Pollution Control Agency
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Health
  • Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Department of Administration (LMIC)
  • Department of Public Safety
The Office of Enterprise Technology and LMIC are providing in-kind contributions of financial and project management, respectively. As noted above, in addition to cash contributions, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is supervising ground control target placement and horizontal accuracy testing
More Information
For more details, see LMIC's website at:
or contact: