Extension and Ag Research News


Aerial Images for Anywhere in North Dakota Available on the Internet

High-resolution color aerial photographs are available for viewing on the Internet from the North Dakota geographic information system (GIS) hub.

Internet users don’t need special computer software to view aerial photographs of any location in North Dakota. High-resolution color aerial photographs are available for viewing on the Internet from the North Dakota geographic information system (GIS) hub. The images are from the years 2003 to 2006. The images can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

""Since the images are 1-meter resolution, they are usable for a variety of applications in agriculture and natural resource management, community development, local government, real estate and just for general interest,"" says John Nowatzki, North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist. ""The Web site is interactive, so users can zoom in to a desired location (down to about two acres). Images can be viewed in a browser or saved as images and then printed, copied or pasted into other computer documents.""

The Web address for the images is http://www.nd.gov/gis/. The site features a Web tool called Hub Explorer for viewing, printing and downloading images.

""The Hub Explorer requires several steps and clicks to use, but people familiar with GIS computer programs will find the site easy to use,"" Nowatzki says.

For those who want assistance in using the Hub Explorer, instructions are available on the NDSU Extension Service precision agriculture and geospatial technology Web site at http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/geospatial/rsedmant.htm. Download or open the document called accessing aerial images for North Dakota areas. The GIS hub also has instructions for using Hub Explorer at http://www.nd.gov/gis/mapsdata/web/.

The images are part of the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) and are geo-referenced to a map coordinate system and zone used by the USDA for all its digital (GIS) data. This means that users extract the imagery from the North Dakota GIS hub and display the imagery in a GIS program on their computer and add other GIS layers, such as field boundaries, global positioning system points and harvest yield data.

The additional GIS layers will be displayed in the correct space on the images. NAIP images provide sufficient detail to recognize variations in soil type, crop development, range quality and drainage problems. The imagery provides a detailed background view to identify and quantify features on the ground.

For more information, contact your county Extension Service office or Nowatzki at (701) 231-8213 or john.nowatzki@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:John Nowatzki, (701) 231-8213, john.nowatzki@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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