Official Government Website

Imagery Technical Working Group


Georeferenced imagery is an important data source in GIS. Not only can it be used as a background, or basemap, in many different GIS applications but it is frequently also used as an input data source for analyses such as determining presence and health of vegetation. Imagery is collected at different temporal resolutions (i.e. the time between data collected of the same area), spatial resolution (the size of the pixels in an imagery) and spectral resolution (for example, only the red/green/blue bands of the visible spectrum, but also collected using cameras that can record infrared or ultraviolet).

Imagery is stored as raster data and can be collected from various sources such as aerial photographs or satellite imagery. In Idaho, imagery is collected and provided by different agencies. For example, the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) collects statewide aerial imagery every 2-3 years. Additionally, many regional agencies such as counties and cities collect their own higher resolution imagery. Imagery such as the Esri basemap and Google, and Bing imagery is collected by other organizations and released under different user licenses.

Note that imagery is expensive to collect, and not all of the georeferenced imagery collections are freely available for public use.


GIS professionals in Idaho have easy access to the free to use current and historical imagery that they can add as basemaps to their own GIS maps and applications or use for analyses. Imagery data is easy to find, easy to use, in a predictable format, and is well documented. Idaho has easy to use tools for people to find partners to share costs for future data collection, as well as tools to find out when and where agencies have collected imagery that can be purchased.


  • Identify imagery datasets, both current and historical that are publicly available and develop standards and a nomination for to get those datasets included in the Idaho Map. If needed, develop stewardship plans and data sharing agreements governing the use of those datasets.
  • Foster a collaborative work environment for data producers and consumers. This includes sharing information about public and for-purchase imagery dataset, fostering partnerships, and sharing data and information where possible.
  • Develop a platform where GIS professionals can find partners to cost-share upcoming imagery data purchases and to find areas where data has been collected that can be purchased.
  • Keep abreast of changes in federal programs or bills that may impact the availability of imagery data in Idaho and propose actions to protect that availability in Idaho.

Framework Layer

NAIP Imagery

This data set contains imagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The NAIP program is administered by USDA FSA and has been established to support two main FSA strategic goals centered on agricultural production. These are, increase stewardship of America’s natural resources while enhancing the environment, and to ensure commodities are procured and distributed effectively and efficiently to increase food security. The NAIP program supports these goals by acquiring and providing ortho imagery that has been collected during the agricultural growing season in the U.S. The NAIP ortho imagery is tailored to meet FSA requirements and is a fundamental tool used to support FSA farm and conservation programs. Ortho imagery provides an effective, intuitive means of communication about farm program administration between FSA and stakeholders.

New technology and innovation is identified by fostering and maintaining a relationship with vendors and government partners, and by keeping pace with the broader geospatial community. As a result of these efforts the NAIP program provides three main products: DOQQ tiles, Compressed County Mosaics (CCM), and Seamline shape files The Contract specifications for NAIP imagery have changed over time reflecting agency requirements and improving technologies. These changes include image resolution, horizontal accuracy, coverage area, and number of bands. In general, flying seasons are established by FSA and are targeted for peak crop growing conditions. The NAIP acquisition cycle is based on a minimum 3 year refresh of base ortho imagery. The tiling format of the NAIP imagery is based on a 3.75′ x 3.75′ quarter quadrangle with a 300 pixel buffer on all four sides. NAIP quarter quads are formatted to the UTM coordinate system using the North American Datum of 1983. NAIP imagery may contain as much as 10% cloud cover per tile.

Individual image tiles can be downloaded using the Idaho Aerial Imagery Explorer.

These data can be bulk downloaded from a web accessible folder.

Step 1
Dataset Identified
Step 2
Standard Documented
Step 3
Nominated for TIM
Step 4
IGC-EC Approved
Step 5
Access Data
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