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 downloader, which has NAIP orthoimagery only.  


  • Products Overview
  • Format varies by type of orthoimagery: Native format, Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF) or compressed 10:1 JPEG2000

The National Map downloader:

A NAIP orthoimage is also included as an optional layer in the PDF format of digital topographic maps published after 2009 (US Topos).


Related Content

Filter Total Items: 8

How do I find, download, or order topographic maps?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all...

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...

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: Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ) High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO) National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP, NAIP Plus) NAIP orthoimagery has been collected...

How often is orthoimagery in The National Map updated and what are the acquisition dates?

Orthoimagery (georectified aerial photography) available through The National Map Downloader and The National Map Services is from the USDA Farm Service Agency's National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), which is 1-meter resolution. Generally, NAIP imagery is refreshed on a 3-year cycle with approximately one third of the continental U.S...

What sources were used for imagery in The National Map services?

Sources for orthoimagery in The National Map services : World view to 1:2,300,000 - NASA Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG) 1:1,150,000 to 1:289,000 - A subset of the Global Land Survey 2000 (Landsat) Scales larger than 1:289,000 - primarily the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The data is 1-meter pixel resolution flown during "leaf-on...

How can I download orthoimagery in bulk?

Orthoimagery is offered through a bulk data application in EarthExplorer . Go to the EarthExplorer Help page and select "Bulk Download Tutorial". To receive bulk data via external hard drive, you must supply the hard drive(s) within our specifications, pay for shipping the drive(s), and provide a paid return label or a carrier account number. Send...

Why does my orthoimagery search on The National Map return multiple tiles for downloading?

Orthoimagery is usually very large in file size, so we stage the data in "tiles" that can be reasonably transported over the Internet. Orthoimagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) that is distributed via The National Map Data Download is in compressed 10:1, JPEG2000 format in 3.75 minute x 3.75 minute tile extents. A larger...

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...
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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.

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.

Filter Total Items: 9
Portion of 2012, High Resolution Orthoimage data near  Lake Union, Seattle, Wash
February 7, 2017

Orthoimagery, HRO Data, Seattle

Portion of 2012, 0.3 meter High Resolution Orthoimage data near Lake Union, Seattle, Wash.

High Resolution Orthoimagery - Fishermans Wharf - San Francisco, CA
February 24, 2015

High Resolution Orthoimagery - Fishermans Wharf - San Francisco, CA

Fishermans Wharf - San Francisco, CA - 0.30 meter resolution - February 24, 2015

OrthoImage layer in a US Topo Map of Washington, D.C.
April 14, 2014

OrthoImage layer in a US Topo Map of Washington, D.C.

OrthoImage layer in a US Topo Map of Washington, D.C.

Pole Creek Orthophoto
December 31, 2012

Pole Creek Orthophoto

This example is from data collected around the 2012 Pole Creek fire in Oregon.

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

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

National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial photograph (2014) of part of the Upper Missouri River near Poplar, Montana

National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial photograph (2014)

National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial photograph (2014) of part of the Upper Missouri River near Poplar, Montana. The river is flowing from left to right. The complex channel may promote retention of boats as well as drifting pallid sturgeon larvae.