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The National Digital Orthoimagery Program (NDOP) is a subcommittee of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). It is responsible for developing, promoting, and executing a national strategy for the acquisition or development of orthoimagery data for Federal agencies while creating and utilizing partnerships with State, local, tribal, and private organizations.

The National Digital Orthoimagery Program (NDOP) is an activity of the U.S. Government responsible for managing and coordinating overhead imagery and applications to support the operational needs of civil government in the United States (overhead capabilities refers to satellite and aerial sources of imagery data obtained by NDOP collection agencies from U.S. and foreign civil, commercial, and national security sources for use by U.S. Federal, State, local and tribal government). The NDOP is composed of U.S. civil overhead collection authorities and agencies; data managers and technical managers specializing in the qualification, certification, and use of imagery for U.S. civil government purposes; and public researchers who rely on operational orthoimagery resources in their work. The NDOP and its affiliated programs also seek to fulfill the obligations of the United States Government to meet U.S. public and private interests.

The NDOP also serves as a Subcommittee of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). As a member organization of the FGDC, the NDOP formulates the U.S. national strategy and implementation plan for collection and use of orthoimagery products and data to meet U.S. civil obligations and purposes. The FGDC is composed of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and affiliated private organizations that focus on the use of geographic needs of the U.S. and its citizenry. The NDOP Subcommittee supports the FGDC Steering Committee in its work and in its management of geospatial datasets useful for the conduct of public government and private interests related to geospatial products and information in the United States.

For access to the internal Imagery Community Page please log-in to GeoPlatform and then click on this link.


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Upcoming Meetings

Salt Lake City, Utah November 5-7, 2019 (USDA FPAC Office)

NDOP FY2017 Steering Committee Members

Agency Member
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Shirley Hall
US Forest Service (USFS) Everett Hinkley
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Paul Rooney
National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Rick Kelson
US Department of Commerce (DOC) Census Bureau Peter Reid
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tim Richards
US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Tony Kimmet
US Geological Survey (USGS) Gita Urban-Mathieux, Douglas Binnie, John Cullen
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Matthew Bobo, Chris Noyles
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Erik Hund
National Park Service (NPS) Brandon Lemire
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Brian Huberty, Ken Elsner

NDOP FY2017 Accomplishments

The subcommittee accomplished the following tasks in 2017:

NDOP Multi-Agency Hawaii/Pacific Basin Orthoimagery Collection Collaboration

NDOP members (USDA-NRCS, USDA-FSA, NOAA and DOD-NGA) have worked together to acquire new Orthoimagery in FY 2017 for the following areas in Hawaii and the US Pacific Basin: Hawaii, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and American Samoa.

NDOP Technical Management Subgroup

The NDOP Technical Management Subgroup holds teleconferences every month or two during the year. These meetings are designed for sharing news and information, working on projects, and providing training or updates of items of interest and importance to the various individuals and agencies. An Item of particular interest and effort for 2017 has been options for geo/orthorectification of scanned aerial film and UAS imagery (drones). Demonstrations and examples of software, processes, products, and experiences have been provided in the teleconferences by a number of companies and organizations. Other discussion items have included: privacy issues involving UAS data, scanning projects by other organizations, licensing of satellite imagery, Lidar & Phodar, 2022 National Spatial Reference System, CIBORG, impacts of the closure of the USGS optical science lab, and new satellite sensors and data.

FGDC Imagery Theme Requirements Collection Framework

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the USGS Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Program, Theme Co-leads of the FGDC Subcommittee, continued to develop a common framework for requirements development, collection, and applications development related to the mission of NDOP and its member agencies.

National High-Altitude Program (NHAP)

NDOP has been coordinating the high resolution scanning of historic aerial photography with an emphasis on National High Altitude Program (NHAP). NHAP was one of the first interagency geospatial programs in the Federal Government that coordinated acquisition to eliminate duplicate efforts by various government programs. Started in 1978 by various Federal Government agencies including DOI-USGS, USDA-NRCS, USDA-FSA, USFS and many others. Imagery for NHAP was collected from 1980-1989 in panchromatic and color infrared. NHAP Imagery is important to many Federal/State/Local agencies.

NHAP CIR Coverage of USGS and APFO Digital Scans

In FY 2015, USDA-FSA-APFO and USGS-Eros Data Center along with funding support from USDA-NRCS have coordinated the scanning of NHAP. Scanned high resolution NHAP is made available to the Federal, State, Local government and private citizens from USGS-Earth Explorer (EE) site. In FY 2014, less than 5% of the continental United States was available with high resolution NHAP. In FY 2014, less than 5% of the digital Color Infrared of the continental United States was available with high resolution NHAP. At the end of FY 2017, over 55% of the CIR collection is available via USGS-EE. NHAP is a critical historic geospatial Imagery layer used in many agency programs such as USDA Wetlands Reserve Program and Highly Erodible Land Program.

Caption: NHAP CIR Coverage of USGS and APFO Digital Scans available via Earth Explorer as of 8/15/2017

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP)

2016 naip acquisition


As the primary source of aerial imagery for the USDA, the FSA administers the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), leveraging partnership funds from other Federal entities to acquire imagery during the growing season over the Continental United States. In 2017, FSA acquired a little over 1.7 million square miles of 4-band (natural color and near color infrared) imagery in 26 states. Three states were collected at .6-meter resolution through a partnership “buy-up” option and all the remaining states are at 1-meter resolution.

total years naip

The current NAIP indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that was scheduled to end in 2016 was extended for an extra year to allow for additional time in completing imagery requirements analysis for 2018 and beyond.

The anticipated FY18 budget reductions is expected to reduce future NAIP coverage to approximately one million square miles annually – roughly 59% of the 2017 coverage. An Integrated Project Team (IPT) is being established to investigate alternative solutions to address the uncertainty of the out-year budgets.

2017 AIP Acquisitions Caption: Imagery acquired by USDA/Farm Service Agency in 2017 through the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP)

Total Years or NAIP Imagery As of 2017 Caption: Years of NAIP Coverage by State 2002-2017

United States Geological Survey (USGS)Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Commercial Satellite Data Sources and Operations

As the primary source of civil-operational satellite imagery for the United States, LRS manages a series of orthoimagery capabilities and functions, including the Landsat series of satellites, land surface imagery obtained by NASA satellites, and data obtained via the Civil Applications Committee from U.S. and foreign commercial satellite systems. In 2017, LRS continued to develop concepts and plans for future management of commercial satellite data sources and operations important to orthoimagery operations in the United States.

Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Summer Seasonal Alaska Collection Request

In Spring 2017, LRS tendered an NDOP request for a Summer-seasonal collection of the State of Alaska via the CAC, which LRS oversees. This request was targeted to fulfill outstanding needs for more accurate digital modeling of the surface area of Alaska. LRS will use the resulting dataset to provide for a broad variety of public needs for high-resolution orthoimagery data in the Alaskan region. Public agencies operating in Alaska have missions related to protecting public lands, mapping inland and coastal waterways, and performing natural resource management, wildfire response, and other public mandates. This request is being coordinated with the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence of which USGS is a member organization.

Optical Science Laboratory (OSL)

Since 1973, the USGS Optical Science Laboratory (OSL) has been providing calibration services for large format aerial film cameras used to collect imagery throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Long recognized as a center of excellence for this specialized type of calibration, the OSL closed its doors in the J.W. Powell Federal Building at the USGS National Center in Reston, Virginia, on March 16 after 44 years in operation.

Properly calibrated aerial cameras were able to capture the types of precisely positioned images needed to create accurate topographic maps and other mapping products. The OSL’s calibration efforts led to major improvements in the systematic collection of aerial imagery of the conterminous United States and was integral to the success of programs such as the National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) Program, National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP), and National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).

In support of NDOP and other Federal needs, the OSL calibrated 3705 aerial film cameras during its many years of operation and supported more than 200 aerial imaging companies to meet the performance and accuracy standards required by U.S. federal agencies, as well as many state and local governments, for diverse mapping projects.

National Geospatial Program (NGP) High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO)

The USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) will retire the High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO) portion of imagery and services on October 1, 2017. HRO data generally consists of 1 meter or better resolution, leaf-off, orthorectified imagery products acquired over the nation’s major urban regions and provided through The National Map.

The data were acquired through 2014 in collaboration with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, consisting of coverage routinely expanded in partnership with local, regional, and state governments. The NGP is continuing support of access to National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) orthoimagery data and services, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Access to the source imagery used in the generation of the standard HRO data products and services will continue to be made available through Earth Explorer by the USGS Land Remote Sensing Program.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)Tide-Controlled Coastal Imagery and Emergency Response

NOAA collected 41 tide controlled coastal imagery datasets to support shoreline mapping efforts, and also collected oblique imagery along the Gulf coast and South Atlantic coast for coastal zone management applications. In addition, NOAA acquired emergency response imagery to support relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew and a flooding event in Louisiana.



Agenda_NDOP Steering Committee Meeting Fall 2017 (Public)

Updated on September 3, 2019
Imagery Theme

Community Type: NGDA

Sponsor: FGDC

Sponsor Email: NGDATeam@fgdc.gov

Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) and U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Theme Lead: John Mootz, FPAC and Gregory Snyder, USGS