Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Projects > Ortho photography

Ortho Photography

The Maine GeoLibrary, in cooperation with the Maine Office of GIS is in its third year of a projected five year acquisition. This years project will complete acquisition in all of Hancock county and approximately 1/3rd of Penobscot county. There are 16 communities participating this year. Buying up to 3" resolution imagery is the City of Bangor. Buying up to 6" resolution Imagery are Bar Harbor, Castine, Cranberry Isles, Dedham, Ellsworth, Mount Desert, Veazie, Brewer, Hampden, Old Town, and Orono. Buying up to 12" resolution imagery are Orland, Sorrento, Swans Island and Trenton.

We know that in 2012 the town of York experienced a savings of $26,000 over a previous acquisition in 2005 for the same quality data. In the first three years of this program 66 communities have purchased higher resolution imagery. If we assume that on average each community saves just $20,000 by participating in this joint purchasing effort then collectively these towns will have saved $1,340,000.

For more information on the program check out our links below. To find out how your community can participate in the program contact Joseph Young 207-624-2664


Maine GeoLibrary Ortho Imagery Program Brochure (Four-Page)

Maine GeoLibrary Ortho Imagery Program cost summary (One-Page)

Maine GeoLibrary Ortho imagery Program return on investment findings (One-Page)

Maine GeoLibrary Ortho imagery Program summary (Postcard)

Maine GeoLibrary Ortho imagery Program slide deck (Power Point)

Comparison of Ortho imagery resolutions (Power Point)

NSGIC brochure "Justifying the Cost of Authoritative Imagery"

Earth Imaging Journal article "Why Buy?" Dec. 2012

Kennebec Journal article "Precision aerial photography" Jan 5 2013

Current Status Map:

Woolpert Portal

The Woolpert Portal for imagery review and QA/QC

Meetings, Presentations:


Would you like to participate? Contact Joseph Young ortho imagery program manager for more information. Voice Phone 207-624-2664



Maine GeoLibrary Ongoing Aerial Photography Update Proposal

People across Maine use spatially-referenced aerial photography (known as ortho imagery) for professional and personal uses every day. The information must be current and high quality to be useful. Therefore, in 2011 the Maine GeoLibrary's Ortho Imagery Subcommittee developed a proposal for updating the states imagery in five year cycles. with two levels of detail 24" resolution in organized communities and 1meter resolution in unorganized communities. The proposal divides the state into groups of towns with the timing of updates being determined by the estimated rate of change and development. The proposal recommends buy-up options for groups of towns so they may purchase higher resolution ortho imagery. The cost for the statewide base program on a 5 year cycle is estimated to be 8 cents per acre for a total of approximately $450,000 per year.

The full proposal and appendices are available from the Ortho imagery Sub-group of the GeoSpatial Data Working Group, as are the Ortho imagery Base map Specifications for Maine

example of orthoimage with parcel lines overlaid
Digital aerial ortho imagery with property lines, land elevation contours, fire hydrants and water mains in GIS.

User testimonials can be found at:  

Examples of how ortho imagery is used in Maine:

  • Tax Parcel Mapping
  • Transportation Management & Planning
  • Economic Development
  • Utilities Management, Operations & Planning
  • Land Use Planning & Zoning
  • Drainage Planning & Management
  • Code & Permit Enforcement
  • Agriculture
  • Insurance
  • Surveying & Mapping
  • Environmental Management, Planning & Regulation
  • Education
  • Natural Resource Inventories & Assessments
  • Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • Public Safety Planning, Response & Mitigation
  • Forest stand type mapping & management planning

To read about the 2003-2005 $1.3M high resolution ortho photography project conducted by the GeoLibrary Board, see Summary of acquisition activity 2003-2005




Featured Links