Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 NAIP Status Update

As mentioned on the NSGIC News Blog, the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) for 2009 will cover roughly two-thirds of the USA. This is quite an achievement for the program and will result in an excellent resource for geospatial practitioners as well as the broader public.

A status update from yesterday indicates that flight operations are already well underway.

The 2009 program contractors include a group of commercial mapping firms that are all well-known in the North American mapping industry: 3001, Aerial Services, the North West Group, Photo Science, Sanborn and Surdex. It is interesting to note that the cameras used will be a mix of large-format frame and pushbroom sensors. 3001 has both a Leica Geosystems ADS40 (pushbroom) as well as an Intergraph DMC (frame), and I'm not sure which will be used for NAIP acquisition. Aerial Services and the North West Group operate Leica ADS sensors. Photo Science and Surdex operate DMCs while Sanborn operates a Microsoft Ultra Cam (frame). The photogrammetric processing workflows for frame and pushbroom sensors are quite different, with pushbroom sensors capturing long strips of imagery in a "pixel carpet" versus the traditional frame approach. However, it is good to see a mix of technology in use.

Here is a map of the contractor areas:

Note that further maps and status updates are available from the APFO (Aerial Photography Field Office) home page.

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