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2020 Four-band aerial imagery testing and acquisition for 2020 land cover/land use mission

December 31, 2020

The aerial camera testing project lays the groundwork for the collection of aerial imagery that will be used in the creation of the next iteration of systemic land cover/land use data for the Upper Mississippi River System. Prior to acquisition in the summer of 2020, the new 4-band aerial camera will be assessed for image quality at various resolutions and be compared to the camera used for the 2010/2011 collection. Systemic aerial imagery has been acquired, and vegetation datasets derived from that imagery, by the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program’s Long Term Resource Monitoring element on a decadal basis beginning in 1989 and follow-up imagery missions in 2000 and 2010/2011. Remote sensing and geographic information system technology has changed dramatically during this time, transitioning from a workflow based on 9-inch by 9-inch aerial film-based cameras to today’s 80-megapixel four-band digital camera. In addition to the camera testing, this report also provides historical information of previous aerial imagery acquisition efforts and how that process has continued to advance in the 30 years since the Program’s genesis.