Posted: May 3, 2013

In 2012 the North Dakota GIS Technical Committee (GISTC) developed a Historical Imagery Pilot Project to determine the feasibility and cost of creating one or more statewide and regional aerial imagery datasets that pre-date the 1995-1998 USGS DOQQs. This publicly available imagery will be used by multiple state agencies for change detection and analysis.

The GISTC worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Aerial Photography Field Office to identify possible imagery datasets.  The 1957-1962 imagery was selected as the source of data for the pilot project.  This data has a scale of 1:20,000 and has sub-meter pixel resolution.

The pilot project began with data from Burleigh County and was a success with the costs of scanning and georeferencing the data being less than estimated. In addition, there was a lot of interest in using the data. The pilot project was then extended to include the imagery from Williams and McKenzie counties.

To view this data please visit the REST page and then select the ArcGIS Javascript or Map links. Please note that these photos have been georeferenced with a minimum number of data points. Therefore, there will be horizontal accuracy issues. The photos have not been orthorectified and therefore there will be photo anomalies and mismatches between adjoining photos. Caution should be exercised if attempting to use this imagery to conduct measurements.

The GISTC is now planning over the course of several years and as budget allows to acquire additional 1957-1962 imagery with the goal of eventually having statewide coverage.  One county and one state agency have stepped up to volunteer funds for obtaining additional imagery.  These partners will benefit by having the imagery in their counties of interest moved to the top of the priority list. If your organization would like to help fund this project, please contact us.