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Imagery Programs
NAIP Imagery



What is NAIP?
The National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) acquires aerial imagery during the agricultural growing seasons in the continental U.S. A primary goal of the NAIP program is to make digital ortho photography available to governmental agencies and the public within a year of acquisition.

NAIP is administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) through the Aerial Photography Field Office in Salt Lake City. This "leaf-on" imagery is used as a base layer for GIS programs in FSA's County Service Centers, and is used to maintain the Common Land Unit (CLU) boundaries.


How can NAIP be used?
NAIP is used by many non-FSA public and private sector customers for a wide variety of projects. A detailed study is available in the Qualitative and Quantitative Synopsis on NAIP Usage from 2004 -2008: Click here for a list of NAIP Information and Distribution Nodes.


When is NAIP acquired?
NAIP projects are contracted each year based upon available funding and the FSA imagery acquisition cycle. Beginning in 2003, NAIP was acquired on a 5-year cycle. 2008 was a transition year, and a three-year cycle began in 2009. Click here >> for an interactive status map of NAIP acquisitions from 2002 - 2014.

What are NAIP Specifications?
NAIP imagery is acquired at a one-meter ground sample distance (GSD) with a horizontal accuracy that matches within six meters of photo-identifiable ground control points, which are used during image inspection.

The default spectral resolution is natural color (Red, Green and Blue, or RGB) but beginning in 2007, some states have been delivered with four bands of data: RGB and Near Infrared

Contractually, every attempt will be made to comply with the specification of no more than 10% cloud cover per quarter quad tile, weather conditions permitting.

All imagery is inspected for horizontal accuracy and tonal quality.

What is the format of NAIP imagery?
NAIP imagery products are available either as digital ortho quarter quad tiles (DOQQs) or as compressed county mosaics (CCM). Each individual image tile within the mosaic covers a 3.75 x 3.75 minute quarter quadrangle plus a 300 meter buffer on all four sides. The DOQQs are geotiffs, and the area corresponds to the USGS topographic quadrangles.


CCMs are generated by compressing digital ortho quarter quadrangle image tiles into a single mosaic. The mosaic may cover all or portions of an individual final product. All individual tile images and the resulting mosaic were rectified in the UTM coordinate system, NAD 83, and cast into a single predetermined UTM zone. CCMs from 2003 - 2007 are all in a .sid format. . Beginning in 2008, CCMs with four bands were compressed into a .jp2 format.


Beginning in 2009, all NAIP CCMs are delivered with a "seamline" shapefile showing which image swath made up each part of a given image


Since the NAIP program began in 2003, vendors have been transitioning to digital sensors in imagery acquisition. In 2009, most NAIP imagery will be acquired with digital sensors rather than film cameras.

When is NAIP imagery available?
NAIP CCMs are due at APFO 30 days after flying, and are made available within 24 hours of arrival at APFO, after a preliminary inspection. Final inspection at APFO should be completed within 30 days of delivery; any errors will need to be corrected by the vendor and re-submitted. Corrected versions are then made available to government and to the public.


The DOQQs are due at APFO 30 days after flying, and must be inspected within a year of delivery. They are made available after an entire project area (usually a state) has been inspected and accepted. Delivery is made to NAIP partners.


How can NAIP be accessed?
CCMs are available for free download through the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway, They can also be purchased through the APFO Customer Service Section; 801-844-2922, or


For each state, the most recent year of NAIP Imagery DOQQs is available on an ArcGIS server. The state based services can be added into ArcGIS Desktop by adding Please note: This link will not work unless you are using ESRI's ArcGIS application. This link is for customers who can consume Web Mapping Services (WMS) only.


For detailed instructions on accessing the NAIP state based image services in ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 (and above) via APFO’s ArcGIS Server, click here

Free or low cost viewers with minimal GIS features are available from private vendors. Click here for more information on these free downloads.


To view a presentation with sample imagery, click here. This PowerPoint requires either MS PowerPoint software or a viewer. Click here to open Microsoft's site and access their free viewer download.


Disclaimer regarding Non-USDA-FSA-APFO Information:


For convenience and informational purposes only, the USDA-FSA-APFO is providing the application software link. The USDA-FSA-APFO is not responsible for the application software. The USDA-FSA-APFO neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any warranty, express or implied, regarding application software.

Related Topics
Bullet Ordering NAIP Imagery
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Last Modified: 06/10/14 1:02:47 PM

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