The 2008-2009 NAIP imagery acquisition is in production and the first round of products is arriving at TNRIS – A collaborative partnership among state agencies and several technical contributing partners is creating a new statewide aerial map for Texas. The project is based on a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency and Texas.
This project is acquiring imagery for the entire state in two phases. The first phase is designed to keep pace with the agricultural growing season as it migrates from South Texas to the Panhandle.
The Imagery Products
The images are acquired by airborne digital cameras and controlled by global positioning systems. Specialized processing removes optical distortions and assembles all of the images into a unified mapping coordinate system. This production process creates a image which has all of the utility of a map.
The processed images are referenced to a USGS coordinate grid system and made available as individual image map files. All of these images are in the public domain and available from TNRIS and the Farm Services Agency.
The project is also breaking new ground in producing imagery that will have one-half meter resolution which is twice as much detail as previously acquired for the state. This was achieved through the direct participation of state partners and the FSA liaison for the state Mr. Bryan Crook.
The success of this project is due to the strong legacy of state agency cooperation and support for statewide projects. This project includes funding support from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas General Land Office, and the Commission on State Emergency Communications. These agencies intend to use the data for scientific analysis and detailed facility and road network updating.
In addition to project sponsorship by the Farm Services Agency and strong support by their staff in Texas, other federal contributors include the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Cooperative Technical Partners
TNRIS is working closely with several technical partners to support the project. The Texas Height Modernization Program (HeightMod) based at Texas A&M Corpus Christi is providing quality assurance and primary field data collection for geodetic control. The network of points that they set in the field will be used to correct the distortions in the imagery and provide for better matching and absolute location accuracy. The professional surveyors and geodesists maintain a detailed record of land surface measurements that are iportant to a wide range of projects and programs.
The University of Texas Center for Space Research is also providing specialized services and experience in developing quality control for state wide aerial imagery. UT_CSR is helping to convert survey points to current USDA Aerial Photography Field Office standards.
Many local contributors have also assisted with providing ground control information. These local and county contributors have been essential to the success of the project and many more are being contacted to help with the project.
As the data are acquired by Texas TNRIS will work with agencies and the public to determine which products best suit their needs.