Orthophotography

Orthoimagery has been the foundation of regional mapping efforts in Wisconsin since the first consortium was formed in 1995. It started with 1.0-meter resolution film photography of seven counties in southwestern Wisconsin and grew significantly by 2010, when digital orthoimagery was collected across the entire state at 18-inch or better resolution. The sensor technology and processing software continues to improve the quality and accuracy of the ortho datasets. At the same time, higher pixel resolution imagery is becoming more affordable, and most counties now require 6-inch orthos for their base mapping needs. In 2015, 40 counties acquired 6-inch resolution orthoimagery.

In 2017-2020, there will be affordable options for 3-inch countywide and 3-inch buy-up orthoimagery. There is already a demand for 3-inch resolution for municipal applications, and we expect this will the benefits will be seen at the countywide level in the near future.

Along with increased resolution, many members selected 4-band orthoimagery options in 2015. The 4-band delivery includes the near-IR band in addition to the natural color RGB bands. The NIR band shows vegetation and impervious areas very distinctly. Many members are finding additional value in the 4-band delivery. Starting in 2017, the 4-band orthos will be part of the standard delivery. There will be 3-band buy-up options for E911, surveying, and engineering applications that use CAD based software.

If you are interested in discussing more about the benefits of high resolution orthophotography or what to budget for an upcoming project, please contact a WROC representative.

For more information on digital orthophotography and its applications, click here.

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