What is the National Agriculture Imagery Program?
The National Agriculture Imagery Program, also known as NAIP, is aerial imagery which can be obtained during the agricultural growing season in the continental of U.S. This program is administered by the USDA, Farm Service Agency or FSA to acquire aerial imagery during the growing season and send the imagery to the USDA County Service Centers. The NAIP data set contains false-colored and 4-band natural color infrared imagery.
The NAIP imagery is obtained at a one-meter GSD or ground sample distance with a horizontal accuracy. It matches with approximately five-meters of photo-identifiable GCP or ground control points. The imagery uses default spectral resolution is natural color or RGB (red, green, and blue. However, some states now have been delivered with four bands of data that care near-infrared and RGB. The focus of NAIP is mainly on agricultural areas, FSA cost-share, and funds partnerships between federal agencies that are elevated to obtain full state image coverage.
When the NAIP Program begins or during the peak agriculture season, imagery is obtained using aircraft which has been equipped with digital camera or films. In the present time, the imagery acquisition uses digital sensors. Both digital cameras and film should meet rigid calibration specifications. However, the digital sensors which are currently in use may obtain imagery through continuous exposures or collection technology.
Who acquires the imagery?
While the FSA has the responsibility to provide aerial imagery, but independent contractors obtain the NAIP imagery. There are three primary contractors which acquire imagery for the FSA. The FSA selects the contractors from the ‘best value’ criteria. This includes an evaluation of the contract proposal from the past performance, capacity, and ability to perform the work as well as the cost. There are also secondary contractors to acquire NAIP under FSA approval.
The purpose of the National Agriculture Imagery Program
The main purpose of NAIP imagery is to provide current information about the agriculture conditions to support the USDA farm program. The imagery is usually available for distribution around 60 days at the end of the flying season. For FSA, the 1-meter imagery is usually obtained in a project which covering full states in cooperation with the state government as well as federal agencies. The imagery is used for various purposes such as natural resource assessment and also land-use planning. The NAIP is also used for disaster response as it provides the most current imagery.
The accuracy of the National Agriculture Imagery Program
The NAIP projects begum in 2002 and the program have been growing since then. At the beginning of 2006 NAIP imagery has transformed into an absolute accuracy specification. This tied the imagery to the true ground instead of another imagery source. The imagery now has strict imagery guidelines. This means all deliverables should be inspected using both visual and automated methods. To ensure the imagery compliance and accuracy and it matches the contract specifications.