For many years, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has coordinated summer flights of Minnesota’s agricultural counties. Partnerships with other federal and state agencies expanded flight coverage to the entire state through the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). Earlier USDA photos taken since the mid-1930s are also available for many areas of the state.
NAIP digital photos
- WMS services: Add the photos to your GIS software -- no need to download them!
- Download county files:
(Click "National Ag. Imagery Program County Mosaic", then choose the year, then the "mn" folder, then the zipfile for your county -- see list of 3-digit county codes used in the filenames)
- NAIP GeoHub site: FSA's place for users to search, discover, and visualize NAIP imagery, including status maps, image date information, announcements, and citizen feedback.
- How are air photos used in Minnesota?
(also see national NAIP coverage status maps for 2002 - 2020)
|2021||Available: County MrSID files and natural color WMS service||60cm||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2019||Available||60cm||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2017||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2015||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2013||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2010||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color (3-band)||Orthorectified|
|2009||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color (3-band)||Orthorectified|
|2008||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color and color-infrared (4-band)||Orthorectified|
|2006||Available||2-meter||Most of Minnesota (map)||natural color (3-band)||Geo-rectified|
|2005||Available||2-meter||Most of Minnesota (map)||natural color (3-band)||Geo-rectified|
|2004||Available||2-meter||Most of Minnesota (map)||natural color (3-band)||Geo-rectified|
|2003-04||Available||1-meter||Statewide||natural color (3-band)||Orthorectified|
|2002||Available||1-meter||28 southern Minnesota counties (state
|natural color (3-band)||Orthorectified|
|2001||Available||2-meter||64,000 square miles of southern Minnesota||natural color (3-band)||Geo-rectified|
* Orthorectified photos have better horizontal positional accuracy than geo-rectified photos.
Pre-2001 prints and slides
Earlier than 2001: Prints or 35mm slides may be available for ordering; many 1938-39 scanned photos are online.
1938-39 air photos: View or download historic air photos from DNR's Landview
website. Two major sources are 1938-39 U.S. Department of Agriculture photos and 1950s U.S. Geological Survey photos used to support production of USGS 1:24,000-scale maps. There are also some photos from the 1940s, and the 1960s through the 1990s. DNR has scanned the hardcopy photos as gray-scale images; each photo covers about ten square miles. Note that the photos are not georeferenced. The project is ongoing -- to see the status of which areas are covered, go to the Landview site, and check the box(es) for one or more decades under "Aerial Photography"/"Historic Air Photos". To retrieve a
photo, click on the "info" button (an "i" with an arrow) and then on a colored dot showing a photo center location. For
more help using the site, click on "how to use" at the top left of the Landview screen.
Aerial Photography Field Office information
Photos from 1955 through the present are housed at USDA's Aerial Photography Field Office in Salt Lake City. The APFO describes itself as the largest source of historical and current imagery of the conterminous United States. It houses photographic imagery secured for the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service in addition to the Farm Service Agency. It also houses copies of NAPP photography, produced jointly with the U.S. Geological Survey.
lists photographic coverage by state and by county. See their website for ordering information and payment options.
Return to MnGeo's first-stop Aerial Photography page