What are the URLs for imagery services in The National Map, and are they cached or dynamic?

There are several imagery services for The National Map.  Some imagery services are cached and some are dynamic:

  • USGSImageryOnly (under Base Maps), for example, is a tile cache base map service of orthoimagery. It has different imagery data sources depending on view scale. The USGSImageryOnly service uses cache tiles of 256x256 pixels in size and 96 dots per inch (dpi) resolution with 75% compression quality. 

  • NAIP Plus (under Theme Overlays) is an example of a dynamic map service. It includes 1-meter resolution data from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). 

Learn more: Video lessons for using The National Map Products and Services

Related Content

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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 the difference between tiled and dynamic services?

A tiled service contains cached tiles that render the map in small tile images. This allows the map to perform much faster when panning and zooming, compared to a dynamic service. Dynamic is considered an "older" way of displaying web maps, where each feature is called from the source data and drawn separately for every pan and zoom. Tiled base...

What projection are the imagery services in The National Map viewer?

Imagery services in The National Map (TNM) use WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) . The USGS ImageryOnly Service (under Base Maps) is cached (pre-generated) at this projection. Imagery services can be easily reprojected to many other popular projections for use in GIS desktop applications as background services. Learn more: Training videos...

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...

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...

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. EarthExplorer : Products Overview Format varies by type of orthoimagery: Native format, Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format (...

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...
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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: May 23, 2018

Keeping Current with Map Services Made Easier

The National Map provides a new Simple Notification Service and has new URLs for some of its thematic cartographic map services.

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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2015 version of Boulder City, Nevada quadrangle with orthoimage
April 4, 2016

2015 version of Boulder City, Nevada quadrangle with orthoimage

Updated 2015 version of Boulder City, Nevada quadrangle with orthoimage turned on. (1:24,000 scale)

High Resolution Orthoimagery

High Resolution Orthoimagery

USGS High Resolution Orthoimagery for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

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