Indiana Statewide Orthophotography Program

Local Government GIS Coordinator Forum

Orthophotography Project Questions

Jim Stout, IGIC Orthophotography Workgroup Chair

Question 1: Why is the state flown South-North instead of East-West?
Question 2: What are the order of the flights?
Question 3: Will the orthophotography be flown leaf-off?
Question 4: 6-inch pixel photography or better still needs to be the standard for any orthophotography project.
Question 5: Will we have to wait another 5 years for the next fly-over?
Question 6: What projected costs are estimated to upgrade the 2-foot imagery to 1-foot or 6-inch?
Question 7: What side (or third) of the state goes first?
Question 8: What could be done to continue statewide data acquisition (orthophotography, LiDAR, etc.) to insure a consistent statewide data set?
Question 9: How can local GIS folks help make this program happen?
Question 10: When will we be informed of the progress of the Statewide Orthophotography Program?
Question 11: Wouldn’t it be better to get funding from the counties to do our aerial flyover all at 6-inch resolution?
Question 12: There were problems with the 2005 buy-up, how are these addressed in the new program?
Question 13: Will counties be allowed to share with cities and towns for their orthophotography buy-ups?

Answers

Question 1: Why is the state flown South-North instead of East-West?

A: Photos are taken after the snow is gone, but before leaves come out. This is a short window of time. By flying south to north, we extend this window. We can start in the south in February and finish the north in late April  which adds three weeks.


Question 2: What are the order of the flights?

A: There has not been a decision yet about which part of the state will be first. Our current thinking is that it may be a mix of one-third of the state, and high-change counties.


Question 3: Will the orthophotography be flown leaf-off?

A: Yes. In addition, the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) still plans to do summer 1-meter photos every couple of years.


Question 4: 6-inch pixel photography or better still needs to be the standard for any orthophotography project.

A: We agree completely. The issue is funding. For all of Indiana, 2-foot satellite photos cost about $700,000; 1-foot orthophotography costs about $1,500,000; 6-inch orthophotography costs about $5,500,000.


Question 5: Will we have to wait another 5 years for the next fly-over?

A: The 2005 Orthophotography Project was funded with a one-time grant opportunity. There has not been funding for another project; so it is unknown when the next flight will be. We are preparing a request-for-proposal for a 2010-2012 flight plan that would have an option for renewal in 2013-2015, but nothing is certain at all yet.


Question 6: What projected costs are estimated to upgrade the 2-foot imagery to 1-foot or 6-inch?

A: Our guess is that the cost to buy-up from 2-foot to 1-foot is about $25/square mile; and from 1-foot to 6-inch is about $100/ square mile. Understand, these are just estimates, and we won’t know real costs until we see the responses to the RFP.


Question 7: What side (or third) of the state goes first?

A: It is not determined. We are open to arguments for what the priorities should be.


Question 8: What could be done to continue statewide data acquisition (orthophotography, LiDAR, etc.) to insure a consistent statewide data set?

A: Funding. Contact your legislators about how valuable these data are.


Question 9: How can local GIS folks help make this program happen?

A: Join the IGIC Legislative Committee. Send us your stories about how you use photos, and the issues when you don’t have up-to-date photos. Keep your local politicians informed about the value of orthophotography products.


Question 10: When will we be informed of the progress of the Statewide Orthophotography Program?

A: The Orthophotography Workgroup makes regular updates to the IGIC Board; you can read these updates in the minutes, or by visiting the Workgroup’s webpages. In brief, we approached legislators and state agencies, and monitored grant opportunities. We wrote a position paper and a draft brochure regarding a statewide orthophotography program, and are in the process of drafting a request-for-proposal to see what kinds of prices we can get for a 2010 flight.


Question 11: Wouldn’t it be better to get funding from the counties to do our aerial flyover all at 6-inch resolution?

A: A 6-inch project would be better. Funding from the counties is an option we are considering  though many counties will have trouble finding any funding at all.


Question 12: There were problems with the 2005 buy-up, how are these addressed in the new program?

A: We consider three types of buy-up issues: budget timing, price, and delivery schedule. Budget timing is still an issue, but if we can build an on-going program, this issue will go away in a couple of years. It is our goal that the buy-up price should be less expensive than market price; though this may not be the case in today’s economy. One idea we are considering is that counties who buy and share their own photos be reimbursed from the State for the State’s share. The delivery schedule can be handled through better project management on our side and closer vendor cooperation.


Question 13: Will counties be allowed to share with cities and towns for their orthophotography buy-ups?

A: We do not anticipate that we can work with cities and towns for funding  due to the logistics. It would be appropriate (even desired) for cities to work with counties to help fund the effort.