Thursday, June 29, 2006

April 2006 University Libraries Library Insider Article

Color Aerial Photography Data Available for Indiana

by Angie S. Gibson, Geographic Information Systems Specialist

Do you need color aerial photography of Indiana for a research project, or are you interested in looking at a specific place in Indiana from a bird’s eye view? If you need Indiana aerial photography, stop by the Geospatial Center and Map Collection (GCMC) in Bracken Library.
You will have access, via the Indiana Spatial Data Portal ( to downloadable high resolution color images of the entire state of Indiana. Currently the website offers state-wide color orthophotography that was created in 2003. Soon, the site will be adding color orthophotography taken by the county in 2005.

With funding by the National Agricultural Inventory Program (NAIP), the 2003 images are one meter resolution photos that are projected into a coordinate system so that they can be easily viewed by GIS software and fitted under a user’s existing data. These images also come in a .TIFF format so they can be viewed in AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or any software that can view .TIFF images.

The 2005 aerial photography is available courtesy of the Indiana Statewide Orthophotography Project. The new aerials offer slightly better resolution than the 2003 photos and are projected into a coordinate system and available in .TIFF format. These images are free to download from the Indiana Spatial Data Portal website. But a word of caution is that these files can be extremely large! If your computer does not have a lot of RAM memory, it may freeze up sporadically when viewing the photos. The high-end computers in the GCMC have more than enough available memory to handle these photos, and we welcome you to come in and use the computers to view and download the images you need.

For more information about the Statewide Orthophotography Project, visit the Indiana Geographic Information Council website,, and click on orthophotography.

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