A new business looks for site specific information as it considers a move to rural Oregon. A community leader facilitates a discussion of a controversial natural resources issue with imagery and habitat data for the area in question. The need for timely, high quality, spatial datasets and imagery is growing every day. But identifying where these are located can be time consuming. And, because they are usually very large, distributing them can be cumbersome. There is often an unnecessary duplication of effort in the process. At the root of the solution to these problems is the creation of basic imagery data (and metadata) that adhere to a common standard upon which organizations can build by adding their own detailed datasets throughout the state, and a reliable tool, accessible 24/7, which allows users anywhere in the state to select an area of interest, compress the data and metadata associated with it, and send it for use in another application – a tool to “clip, zip, and ship” for later use.
The Oregon Imagery Explorer (along with the Oregon Spatial Data Library mentioned last month) is intended to be part of this solution. Launched in October 2007, its development is part of a collaboration with the Oregon Geospatial Enterprise Office (GEO) and their GIS Utility Initiative, navigatOR.
Everyone from the local GIS officer to the local citizen can use the Oregon Imagery Explorer. If that person is you, begin by selecting the link to “view/download imagery” and follow the steps. Currently the 2005 National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) high resolution (0.5 meter) color aerial photography is available for the entire state and in the spring of 2010 the NAIP data for 2009 will also be available.
To view the NAIP imagery, first launch the “Image Viewing and Extraction Tool.” You will see an interactive map containing images that are available for viewing and downloading. Locate an area of interest by panning, zooming, or searching for a specified location. If you would like to extract only part of the image, draw a clip rectangle defining the region to be extracted. Once you have placed your first “order” for imagery, your settings such as output format and projection will be remembered for future orders if requested. Tutorials are available at http://oregonexplorer.info/imagery/about/about.aspx?Res=17225.
Making this data available via the Web eliminates the need for duplicate acquisition, storage, and distribution efforts, thus saving taxpayer dollars. The broad functionality of this public tool provides advantages for users. As available datasets the Oregon Spatial Data Library grow in number, so too will the value added from the imagery explorer.