Are the scanned aerial photographic images georectified?

Scans of traditional aerial photography film products (air photos) are not georectified.

The USGS does, however, offer several orthoimagery (georectified aerial photograph) products:

NAIP orthoimagery has been collected for the entire conterminous United States every 3 years beginning in 2009. The USGS only serves NAIP orthoimagery. NAIP aerial photos that have NOT been georectified are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Aerial Photography Field Office.

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Will I be able to see my house in an aerial photograph? Will enlarging the image let me see more detail?

The ability to see specific items in an aerial image is mostly a function of scale and resolution. The following aerial photography products all have a resolution of 1 meter or better, so you should be able to see an object the size of a house: High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO) National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery Digital...

What is a digital orthophoto quadrangle (DOQ) or orthoimage?

A digital orthophoto quadrangle (DOQ)--or any orthoimage--is a computer-generated image of an aerial photograph in which displacements (distortions) caused by terrain relief and camera tilts have been removed. It combines the image characteristics of a photograph with the geometric qualities of a map. Unlike an aerial photograph, an orthoimage has...

What does "georeferenced" mean?

Georeferencing means that the internal coordinate system of a digital map or aerial photo can be related to a ground system of geographic coordinates. A georeferenced digital map or image has been tied to a known Earth coordinate system, so users can determine where every point on the map or aerial photo is located on the Earth's surface. The...

How do I download orthoimagery products and what are the available formats?

Download orthoimagery (georectified aerial photographs) using EarthExplorer , which has the full catalog of USGS orthoimagery and aerial photography, or The National Map download client , which has NAIP orthoimagery only. EarthExplorer : Products Overview Format varies by type of orthoimagery: Native format, Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format...

Is there a cost for aerial photograph products?

Download medium-resolution scans (400 dpi) of aerial photography products at no charge using EarthExplorer . We are working on high-resolution scans (25 micron or 1,000 dpi) that can also be downloaded at no charge. With over 8.4 million frames of imagery in our archive, scanning will take many years to complete, but about 80% of high-resolution...

What do the different colors in a color-infrared aerial photograph represent?

Color-infrared (CIR) aerial photography--often called "false color" photography because it renders the scene in colors not normally seen by the human eye--is widely used for interpretation of natural resources. Atmospheric haze does not interfere with the acquisition of the image. Live vegetation is almost always associated with red tones. Very...

How much area does an aerial photograph cover?

The area covered by an aerial photograph (air photo) depends on the scale of the imagery. Most air photos were taken on 9 x 9 inch film. The chart below reflects coverage for a variety of photographic scales. Scale 1 inch = feet 1 side (miles) Area (square miles) 1:12,000 1000 1.70 2.9 1:20,000 1667 2.84 8.1 1:24,000 2000 3.41 11.6 1:40,000 3333 5...
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Date published: October 21, 2019

Aerial Photo Scan Reveals Rare Image of Two Airplanes in Flight

Every work day at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, contractor Mike Austad pulls up a chair and begins scanning aerial photographs of the Earth’s surface into the massive public database that is EarthExplorer.

Date published: August 27, 2018

Hazards Data Distribution System Releases Thousands of Aerial Images of Kilauea Impact

The eruptive behavior of the Kilauea volcano that began in May 2018 on Hawaii’s Big Island has created an unparalleled opportunity for understanding volcanic systems.

Date published: November 1, 2016

USGS National Map Orthoimagery Map Services Transition and Other Map Service Changes

As part of The National Map transition to cloud hosting, several of the National Map NAIP Orthoimagery Services will be provided under new URLs.

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Image: USGS Aerial Photography and Imagery Library
October 4, 2012

USGS Aerial Photography and Imagery Library

Menlo Park, California Aerial Photography and Imagery Library Collection located in the Main Pecora Federal Library on Campus. This photo collection is used by USGS personnal, and the general public. Historical photos from agencies such as Cal-trans, (California Transportation Department) and counties in California are a valuable part of the collection.

 

High Resolution Orthoimagery - Little Rock, AR
February 29, 2012

High Resolution Orthoimagery - Little Rock, AR

High Resolution Orthoimagery - Little Rock, AR

National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP)
July 2, 2011

National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP)

A full NAIP scene (top) along with a close-up of the landscape detail from this 2011 tile near Waitsburg, Washington.

Aerial Photo Single Frames B/W, Color, CIR
December 31, 1974

Aerial Photo Single Frames B/W, Color, CIR

The Single Frame Records collection includes black-and-white, natural color, and color infrared aerial photographs as depicted by these images of the Napa River Bridge in Vallejo, California.

Air photo showing distorted path of pipeline as it crosses hills and valley, and orthophoto showing the true, straight path

Aerial Photograph vs. Orthoimage

Comparison of an aerial photograph and an orthophoto (orthoimage) from the Tenth Legion quadrangle in Virginia near the town of Arkton. The aerial photo shows a straight pipeline that is distorted by displacements caused by camera tilting and terrain relief (topography). The orthophoto removes the effects of tilt and relief and shows the true, straight path of the pipeline

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Images from HDDS Explorer

Images from HDDS Explorer

Various images from HDDS Explorer including a cyclone, fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, and volcano