Orthoimagery has been the foundation of regional mapping efforts in Wisconsin since the first consortium was formed in 1995. It started with 1.0-meter resolution film photography of seven counties in southwestern Wisconsin and grew significantly by 2010, when digital orthoimagery was collected across the entire state at 18-inch pixel or better resolution. The sensor technology and processing software continues to improve the quality and accuracy of the ortho datasets. At the same time, higher pixel resolution imagery is becoming more affordable, and most counties now require 6-inch pixel orthos for their base mapping needs. Between 2018-2020, 62 counties acquired 6-inch pixel resolution orthoimagery, and a 12-inch pixel statewide dataset was produced for partners.

In 2023-2025, there will be affordable options for countywide 3-inch pixel orthoimagery, and municipal 3-inch buy-ups. There is already high demand for 3-inch pixel resolution for municipal applications, and more benefits are now being recognized at the countywide level as well.

Starting in 2018, 4-band orthos became part of the standard WROC delivery. The 4-band delivery includes the near-IR band in addition to the natural color RGB bands. The combination of color and IR bands show vegetation and impervious areas very distinctly. Many WROC members have found value in the 4-band orthos, and it’s now the WROC standard delivery format. There will be 3-band buy-up options for 911 dispatch, surveying, and engineering applications that use CAD-based software

If you are interested in discussing more about the benefits of high resolution orthoimagery or what to budget for an upcoming project, please contact a WROC representative.