In need of technological guidance

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Thread: In need of technological guidance

  1. #1
    Array BigJon's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Montgomery, AL

    In need of technological guidance

    Hi, folks.

    My company is in the a segment of the hunting industry. As part of our business, we provide consulting services to landowners in the lower-48 states who wish to develop their properties for wildlife. We are in the process of trying to upgrade our technological capabilities. Specifically, I am trying to locate one thing and get advice on a second.

    First, I am trying to find a source through which I can obtain relatively current aerial or sattelite photos of rural properties anywhere in the lower 48 states. The source could be through subscription, per-item payment, etc. I have tried sources such as Terreserver, but some of the photos there are as much as 20 years old, especially in more rural areas, which are exactly the areas I'm interested in. I have also tried Google Earth, but rural shots there are also too high-altitude and of insufficient detail; it's my understanding that many of these photos are old, declassified Russian sattelite photos, and so they offer more-detailed photos of some rural areas, in the Midwest for example, for obvious reasons. However, neither source, and in fact no source I've found, has broad coverage with detailed photos that are no older than 2 years.

    Second, I am looking for software that would allow me to download the aerial photos and then overlay wildlife plans and then print them out in photo-quality up to poster sized for customers.

    I know that quite a few folks here are less-technologically-challenged than I, and that many of you have special insight and experience into sources of such data, and I would deeply appreciate any guidance you could offer.


    Kindest regards,
    "You may not know it, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dyin'."

    Charles Travis Postlewaite, 1882

  2. #2
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    Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    ADEM has started using aireal mapping of the state and the health department is using GPS with Yahoo maps (which has old aireal photos). So have you tried the State or the Univeristy of Alabama or Auburn they might have something you can use or point you in the right direction.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Contact your local Cooperative extension service , or state Agriculture Dept . Or State Veterinary office . Last year doing Premises ID on our ground ( for the state vet's office and dealing with new animal health regs ) I pulled gps coordinates off of photo imagery that was 1 year old . I dont know how accessable this data would be but its a starting point, and surprisingly the images were up to date .
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    If you Google an addressee, you can see the aerial map, and over lay the major roads in the area, and transition back to the map. Some areas only zoom in so much, It's free and something to try.
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  5. #5
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    Try Contacting Your County...

    Code Enforcement or Zoning offices...
    Many Florida counties use satt photos that can distinguish whether or not a property had a 'shed' on it a year or two back...

    I can't remember what was used in Collier County (Naples), but is was very thorough...a phone call is pretty cheap...

    PM me for some other details if interested...

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  6. #6
    Member Array fhqwhgads's Avatar
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    Ladson, SC
    I'd check into businesses that deal with GIS information, or possibly the forestry service.

  7. #7
    Array BigJon's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Montgomery, AL
    Thank you so much, folks! You have definitely given me some avenues to pursue. I deeply appreciate your efforts.

    "You may not know it, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dyin'."

    Charles Travis Postlewaite, 1882

  8. #8
    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    OK, hereís a coincidence. During my lunch break I decided to read a few posts on this forum to take my mind of the project Iím working on. Guess what that project is?

    Iím reformatting aerial photographs for the entire state of Utah, from source files provided through the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP). The NAIP program produces aerial images in both the visible and infrared spectrum to one-meter resolution on a yearly basis in Utah. Iím pretty sure they have similar programs in most of the rest of the country.

    Here are a couple of links:

    The first link is to the NAIP office and the second is to the state agency that hosts this data for Utah. Thereís also a large USGS aerial photography office here in Salt Lake that helps coordinate the NAIP program in the western US. Iíve attended several meetings there as part of my job.

    Iím sure if you call the folks at Utahís Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC Ė the second link, above) they can help you track down a national source for this info.

    The NAIP imagery is rectified and projected for use in geographical information systems (GIS).

    There is a large amount of GIS information available from state agencies that can be used with the NAIP data. Locally, AGRC is our state clearinghouse for this information and provides data such as land ownership classifications, vegetation coverage, geological features, etc.

    In order to best use this information, youíll need a GIS. The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI - is the largest vendor of GIS software in the country. The GIS system I use is an ESRI system. I use it to combine geographical data with the aerial photography and, you guessed it, print big poster sized maps. There are several flavors of ESRI GIS software available from free downloads to software used for higher-end spatial analysis.

    Send me a private message, if you would like more info.
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  9. #9
    Member Array Smooth23's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    I heard over the next couple years or so they were going to be taking fresh aerial photos all over the country.. just thought I'd add that.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    I was a CADD Tech for TDOT and our Planning Division usually had current high quality aerial photos of the areas we were laying out roads and bridges for. Wouldn't hurt to give your local Transportation Department a call and see what they have available. I know contractors would come in fairly regularly for copies so they should be available for a nominal fee. Just ask for their Planning Divsion, that should get you pointed in the right direction.

  11. #11
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    The agency I work for also has a big GIS presence similar to Harold's above. The department is currently in the process of purchasing current, high resolution aerial photos for compliance research. I believe that the plan is for this information to be available on the Internet from our website when we actually get it all set up. We also use ESRI tools that will allow highways, rivers, towns, etc to be overlayed on the photos. I'll let you know when that data becomes available for the state of Arizona.
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