Cataloging Aerial Imagery Collection and Forecasting Future Collections at all Levels of Government

The Census Bureau acquires remotely sensed data, specifically imagery from state, local, and federal
providers to use in various programs across the agency. Federal agencies meet twice a year during
National Digital Orthophotograpy Program (NDOP) meetings to discuss planned imagery acquisition
campaigns. These meetings facilitate data sharing between agencies while helping to eliminate
duplicate data collection. Cooperative planning might take place at the state and local levels, but the
resulting collection plans do not get passed to federal agencies. Additionally, as the reliance on
remotely sensed data increases, the Census Bureau is interested in expanding its efforts to acquire this
data from state and local partners.

To aid in the management and tracking of data available from non-federal partners, the Census Bureau
has been developing a geodatabase designed to reflect the status of all imagery programs within the
U.S., geographically referenced by coverage area. The near-term goal is to get participant permission to
share this geodatabase with tribal, state, local, and federal partners on the Federal Geographic Data
Committee’s GeoPlatform (, which is a publicly available website. This
database shows which geographic areas are covered by which program, and document their collection
schedules. The Census Bureau requests assistance from state and local agencies through the Spatial,
Address, Imagery, Data (SAID) Program to self-report the status of their remote sensing programs,
collection schedules, type of data collected, and most importantly, up-to-date contact information.
Participation will enhance coordination between government agencies collecting imagery and share
contact information. The Census Bureau is already utilizing this information to keep imagery on its
servers up to date, but there is a use case for state agencies, who would benefit from having this data at
hand when planning data collection along state and county boundaries.

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