Is certification available for scanned aerial photographic products?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS) can only certify that the product downloaded through our website is an authentic reproduction of an official record of the Government that is in the legal custody of the USGS EROS.

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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?

It will depend on the resolution and scale of the imagery. High Resolution Orthoimagery and National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery both have a resolution of 1 meter or less so you should be able to see objects as large as houses. What you can easily see in an aerial image is mostly a function of scale and resolution. Film resolution...

Are the scanned aerial photographic images georectified?

The question refers to scanned images of traditional aerial photography film products, and these scans are not georectified. If a customer needs them georectified, they will have to do the registration themselves or have that process performed by a provider of value added services. The USGS does serve other kinds of georectified aerial imagery...

What are the prices of aerial photograph products?

USGS/EROS has created medium resolution digital scans at 400 dpi and high resolution scans at 1,000 dpi of the aerial photography products. Both the medium and high resolution aerial photography products can be downloaded at no cost via EarthExplorer or Glovis . A segment of the USGS archives remains on film media that has not yet been scanned...

What do the different colors in a CIR aerial photograph represent?

Color-infrared (CIR) aerial photography - often called false color photography because it renders the scene in other than the normal colors seen by the human eye - is widely used for interpretation of natural resources. Atmospheric haze does not interfere with the acquisition of the image, therefore is well suited to aerial photography. The red...

How much area does an aerial photograph cover?

The area covered by an air photo depends on the scale of the imagery. Most aerial 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 5.68 32.3 1:58,000...
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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: October 31, 2016

Before and After Photos: SE Beach Dunes Lost to Hurricane Matthew

New low-altitude aerial photos of Southeastern beaches taken before and after Hurricane Matthew passed offshore show a new storm-cut inlet, and roads, dunes and structures lost.

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Orthoimagery of the Maryland State House, Annapolis, Maryland
February 7, 2017

Orthoimage, Maryland State House

Orthoimage of the Maryland State House, Annapolis, MD

High Resolution Orthoimagery coverage map on The National Map
February 7, 2017

Orthoimagery Coverage Map

Current High Resolution Orthoimagery coverage map on The National Map


Before and after images of coastal change in Cape Lookout National Seashore caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Before and after images of coastal change caused by Dorian in NC

The Longpoint Cabin Camp in Cape Lookout National Seashore was heavily impacted by Hurricane Dorian’s waves and surge. All of the cabins were damaged and one pavilion is gone altogether. The area is now inaccessible  due to the cut from the harbor to the cabins. These cuts were likely formed when surge flowed over the island from the sound side. The dunes in front of the

Images from HDDS Explorer

Images from HDDS Explorer

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