By Jeff Bloomquist, USDA Farm Service Agency
New air photos of Minnesota are being flown during Summer 2009 as part of the Farm Service Agency’s NAIP program. This results from a requirement in a recent U.S. Congressional appropriations bill calling for FSA to provide 1-meter imagery for 30 states in 2009 with the remainder of the states to be flown in 2010. This is a one-time exception for NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) which typically operates on a three-year cycle.
As of August 14, nearly all of the state had been collected; for updates, see the status map.
The 2009 Minnesota photos will be one-meter resolution in natural color (3 bands) using absolute control; a seamline shapefile, rather than a quarter-quadrangle boundary shapefile, will provide the basis for an index for referencing metadata. The seamline identifies the actual area of each photo used in the orthoimagery – it usually matches closely with the quarter-quadrangle boundary but it is not identical.
This product will be film-based, therefore a color infrared or "4-band" product will not be available.
The 2009 specifications were assembled based on the 2008 NAIP contract – the major difference was that this flight was funded without local partners. Based on the timing of this flight and budget deadlines, it was not possible for FSA’s APFO (Aerial Photography Field Office) to obtain partner commitments this year in Minnesota.
Decisions are still being made on how the public will have access to this imagery but all signs point to the county files (county compressed mosaics, or "CCMs") being available for download from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Geospatial Data Gateway and also from the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office’s website.
For Minnesota, the next NAIP 1-meter flight is scheduled for the summer of 2011 and the FSA will again seek local partner participation to ensure full state coverage and to fund a 4-band (natural color and color-infrared) deliverable.
More details on the 2009 flight will follow as the information is received. Questions should be directed to Jeff Bloomquist at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-602-7728.
For information on earlier years of Minnesota’s FSA NAIP air photos, click here.