Getting a license to take aerial photographs is not as hard as it may seem. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website provides an easy-to-follow application process. After completing a multiple-choice trial and paying the license fee, you will be ready to start taking aerial photographs. The content of the Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) has been moved to Geospatial Business Operations (GEO) for Agricultural Production and Conservation (FPAC). The indexes are available mosaics of photographs, which can be searched for your specific area of interest in the tile.
When you find your point of interest, a frame number will appear in the image, which corresponds to the frame number of a can of film. It is beneficial to have a map that describes your area of interest (AOI) when locating aerial photographs. Additionally, you should determine the scale and dates of the images you need. For help determining the most useful scale, visit our explanatory page on scales. If you're looking for specific imaging features, such as oblique or color infrared photographs, be sure to read the flight log carefully.
This information can be found under “Physical Details”. If stereo pairs are required, look for 60% overlap. The USGS has aerial photos and images suitable for framing that can be requested without the need for personalized research. This category includes satellite images and photographs of aircraft from selected states, cities, regions and features of the United States and of natural phenomena such as fires and volcanic eruptions. Photographs and other images of the Earth taken from air and space show a lot about landforms, vegetation and the planet's resources. Most satellite scenes can only be obtained in digital format for use in computer-based image processing and geographic information systems, but in some cases they are also available as photographic products.
Black-and-white and infrared color films are used today in high and low altitude aerial photography. In general, the level of detail is higher in low-altitude photographs that cover relatively small areas, while satellite images cover much larger areas but show less detail. The USGS archives photographs of its mapping projects and those of other federal agencies taken since the 1950s. Aerial and satellite images, known as remote sensing images, allow accurate mapping of land cover and make landscape features comprehensible on a regional, continental and even global scale. The National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) was established in 1987 to coordinate aerial photography in the United States between federal and state agencies. In addition, the USGS National Map and the USGS EROS Data Center have aerial photographs available for download.
Because aerial photographs show the texture of the soil in much more detail than maps, orthophotos are useful for updating maps and studying surface features that are not necessarily visible on maps. The scales of aerial photography images ordered as 9-inch square photographic products are also listed. The data from satellite scanners is usually displayed as images whose colors resemble those of aerial photographs in infrared color, but the colors of a given image can be manipulated with a computer to improve the characteristics of the landscape. The USDA, through the Field Office of Aerial Photography (APFO), provides access to aerial photographs acquired through the National Agricultural Inventory Program (NAIP).While certain satellite images are distributed as photographic films or prints, they are most often distributed as digital products. Obtaining a license for aerial photography is not complicated if you know what steps to take. You must first complete a multiple-choice trial on the FAA website before paying your license fee.
It is also important to have a map that describes your area of interest (AOI), determine the scale and dates of the images you need, read flight logs carefully for specific imaging features such as oblique or color infrared photographs, look for 60% overlap if stereo pairs are required, and understand what type of product you need - digital or photographic. The USGS has many resources available for obtaining aerial photos and images without personalized research. These include satellite images, photographs from selected states, cities, regions and features of the United States, natural phenomena such as fires and volcanic eruptions, black-and-white and infrared color films used in high and low altitude aerial photography, orthophotos useful for updating maps and studying surface features not visible on maps, data from satellite scanners displayed as images with colors resembling those of aerial photographs in infrared color, and access to aerial photographs acquired through the National Agricultural Inventory Program (NAIP).