02 February 2016: New 2015 NAIP Aerial Photos Available

NAIP_2015 (Custom)The National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) is a Government program that acquires aerial imagery during the growing seasons in the continental U.S. A primary goal of the NAIP program is to make digital ortho photography available to governmental agencies and the public within a year of acquisition. Over the years, the quality, resolution, and coverage as well as distribution methods of NAIP photography has improved greatly.

The last time the government published NAIP photography was in 2013. The NAIP 2015 photography is now available, and it’s pretty good looking. The amount of detail visible given the approximate ground-resolution of 1/2 meter is amazing. For example, you can see Rick Gallion’s sailboat mooring buoy off the end Hodsdon Lane. Eventually the photos will be made available in a variety of sizes and resolutions, but for now the NAIP 2015 photography is only available as “Compressed County Mosaics” (CCM) photographs which are HUGE and hard to manage without special software: the Lincoln County CCM file comes in a 680 megabyte .ZIP file and the image itself is in a super-compressed format “SID” file that covers the entire area of Lincoln County at sub-meter resolution (that’s one big photograph) Honestly, I had no idea what to do with a .SID file so I had to do some research. The picture above is a much-reduced version of a very tiny section of the Lincoln County image. The original photograph is 6281 x 3874 pixels in size.

The photographs were taken by aerial survey on July 3, 2015. On that date, the water level was -57.84″ below the top of the dam. You can see exposed ledges and rocks in the northwest end of the lake and shallow areas in other places. The lake eventually fell another 9″ reaching -66.84″ below the top of the dam on August 10th.

I’ve made 2 versions available, the original .TIF format and a smaller .JPEG format. The .TIF file is geo-referenced for use with a GIS program. Most people will want to look at the JPEG file. You right-click on the link and select either “Save As” or “Open link in a new tab.”

When I get a chance I’ll put links to these into the Maps, Charts, & Graphs page and in the Large Scale Photos & Panoramas gallery.

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