Delaware Aerial Photography

Aerial photography, typically termed orthophotography once the data has been geocorrected, have been used in mapmaking for over a century. Over the past few decades, technology advances have made orthophotography invaluable and dramatically improved our comprehension of Earth and it's precious resources.

The State of Delaware has flown aerial orthophotography at various times since 1937. Thanks to the past efforts of the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) in collecting this imagery, converting it to a digital format when necessary, and initial distribution of map services, DEMAC can now make these images available to the public. The data is distributed from DEMAC as individual files (per tile) and/or WMS map services. Some of the years of data are also available from other organizations in various formats. See our current inventory below for more specific information.

If there are other orthophotographic datasets you think should be included in this inventory, please contact us.

Current Inventory

Year Resolution Bands Tile
Download?
Map
Service?
Notes
2013 1.0 meter 3-band: R,G,B No Yes USDA NAIP
Delivered as three counties.
Each tile is 1.0m x 1.0m, 528 MB - 814 MB (MrSID format).
SRS: UTM Zone 18N NAD83 meters
Scale: 1:12,000
Metadata - [New Castle County XML] [Kent County XML] [Sussex County XML]
2012 0.3 meters 4-band: R,G,B,NIR Yes Yes Sanborn
Delivered as 2010 tiles, same tiling scheme as 2002 imagery
Each tile is 1.7km x 1.7km, 5667x5667 pixels, ~133 MB (TIF).
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:2,400
Metadata - [New Castle County XML] [Kent and Sussex Counties XML]
2011 1.0 meter 3-band: R,G,B No Yes USDA NAIP
Delivered as three counties.
Each tile is 1.0m x 1.0m, 750 MB - 1 GB (MrSID).
SRS: UTM Zone 18N NAD83 meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [New Castle County XML] [Kent County XML] [Sussex County XML]
2010 1.0 feet 3-band: R,G,B Yes No Joint project among USGS, DVRPC, Dept of Homeland Security (vendor was Aero-Metric, Inc)
New Castle County only. Delivered in same tiling scheme as 2002 and 2007 imagery
Each tile is 1.7km x 1.7km, 5578x5578 pixels, 91 MB (TIF).
SRS: NAD83 Delaware State Plane meters (projected from PA UTM)
Scale: 1:25,404
Metadata - [XML]
2009 1.0 meter 3-band: R,G,B No Yes USDA NAIP
Delivered as three counties.
Each tile is 1.0m x 1.0m, 750 MB - 1 GB (MrSID).
SRS: UTM Zone 18N NAD83 meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [New Castle County XML] [Kent County XML] [Sussex County XML]
2007 0.25 meter 4-band: R,G,B,NIR Yes Yes Sanborn
Delivered as 2010 tiles.
Each tile is 1.7km x 1.7km, 6800x6800 pixels, and 180MB (TIF).
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:2,400
Metadata - [XML]
2006 1.0 meter 3-band: R,G,B No Yes USDA NAIP
Delivered as three counties.
Each tiles is 1.0m x1.0m, 750 MB - 1 GB (MrSID).
SRS: UTM Zone 18N NAD83 meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [New Castle County XML] [Kent County XML] [Sussex County XML]
2002 0.25 meter 3-band: G,R,NIR Yes Yes EarthData
Delivered as 2010 tiles.
Each tile is 1.7km x 1.7km, 6800x6800 pixels, and 135MB (TIF).
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:2,400
Metadata - [XML]
1997 1.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic Yes Yes DelDOT
Delivered as 172 Quarter-quads.
Each tile is 45 MB (TIF).
SRS: NAD83 State Plane meters
Scale: 1:12,000

Also available: Spatial Analysis Lab, UD (5-meter)
Metadata - [XML]
1992 1.0 meter 3-band: G, R, NIR Yes Yes DelDOT
Delivered as 172 Quarter-quads.
Each tile is 137 MB (TIF).
Scale: 1:12,000
SRS: NAD83 State Plane meters

Also available: Spatial Analysis Lab, UD (5-meter)
Metadata - [XML]
1977 1.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic No No USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (FSA)
In progress of georeferencing images...
Black and White
About 180 tiles, 33Mb each.
Digital imagery obtained by UD Morris Library from USDA.
Scale: 1:40,000
1968 2.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic Yes Yes USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (FSA)
Black and White
Scanned and georectified using ERDAS Imagine
Flying height 40,000 feet, 6-inch focal length camera
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [XML]
1961 2.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic Yes Yes USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (FSA)
Black and White
Scanned and georectified using ERDAS Imagine
Flying height 40,000 feet, 6-inch focal length camera
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [XML]
1954 1.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic Yes Yes USDA Agricultural and Commodity Stabilization Service
Black and White
Scanned and georectified using ERDAS Imagine
Flying height 40,000 feet, 6-inch focal length camera
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Scale: 1:20,000
Metadata - [XML]
1937 1.0 meter 1-band: Panchromatic Yes Yes USDA Agricultural Adjustment Administration
Black and White
Scanned and georectified using ERDAS Imagine
Flying height 40,000 feet, 6-inch focal length camera
Scale: 1:20,000
SRS: NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters
Metadata - [XML]


Aerial Imagery Map Services

Many Delaware aerial imagery collections are available as seamless, statewide web mapping services. DEMAC supports WMS services and further recommends using version 1.1.1 or 1.3.0 for all requests. The table below lists all aerial imagery services and layer names served by DEMAC.

Most of the aerial data served are native to EPSG:26957 (NAD83 Delaware State Plane meters) spatial reference system. The NAIP imagery in 2006, 2009, and 2011 are native to EPSG:26918 (Delaware UTM Z18 NAD83 meters.) However, all of the map services being served from DEMAC support requests from numerous coordinate systems, performing projection on the fly. The following spatial reference systems are supported:

  • EPSG:26957 (NAD83 Delaware State Plane meters)
  • EPSG:26918 (Delaware UTM Zone 18N NAD83 meters)
  • EPSG:2776 (NAD83 HARN Delaware State Plane meters, same as ESRI:102257)
  • EPSG:4326 (WGS84 Decimal Degrees, GPS projection)
  • EPSG:4269 (NAD83 Decimal Degrees)
  • EPSG:900913 (Web Mercator, also known as "Google Maps Projection", custom numbering created before EPSG adoption)
  • EPSG:3857 (same as EPSG:900913, described on spatialreference.org as SR-ORG:6864 and as it's previous, obsolete code EPSG:3785)
To connect to these services via GIS, use the following server URL: then add the layer that you desire. All of the layers available are listed below. Depending upon your GIS, you may be asked which coordinate system you want the requested map. In most cases, the request will default to whatever active coordinate system your GIS desktop session is using. (Be sure that it is compatible with one of the coordinate systems listed above!)
Layer NameService TypeFull Layer NameNative CRS
orthos1937 WMSimagery:orthos1937EPSG:26957
orthos1954 WMSimagery:orthos1957EPSG:26957
orthos1961 WMSimagery:orthos1961EPSG:26957
orthos1968 WMSimagery:orthos1968EPSG:26957
orthos1992 WMSimagery:orthos1992EPSG:26957
orthos1997 WMSimagery:orthos1997EPSG:26957
orthos2002 WMSimagery:orthos2002EPSG:26957
orthos2006 WMSimagery:orthos2006EPSG:26918
orthos2007 WMSimagery:orthos2007EPSG:26957
orthos2009 WMSimagery:orthos2009EPSG:26918
orthos2011 WMSimagery:orthos2011EPSG:26918
orthos2012 WMSimagery:orthos2012EPSG:26957
orthos2013 WMSimagery:orthos2013EPSG:26918

To connect to the WMS map services through web site development or other applications, you can use the open standard OGC requests: GetCapabilities, GetMap, and GetFeatureInfo. GetCapablities requests are as follows:

Here is an example GetMap request. This request will return the Cape Henlopen region for the 1968 aerial photography as a JPEG image, 221 pixels wide and 512 pixels high.



Tiled Aerial Data Downloads

Aerial Data Distribution Many of the Delaware aerial photography collections are available for downloading in small chunks (rectangular "tiles") to allow for easy distribution of such a large dataset. Much of the imagery flown since 2002 were originally delivered as rectangular tiles of 1.7 km per side. Historic imagery was carved out to match the same tiling structure. DEMAC is making all of the tiles available for download. Only one file is downloadable at a time.

Visit the Delaware Tiled Aerial Data Distribution site.

Data are distributed in TIF, JPEG, or JPEG2000 format, depending upon the year. Statistics are computed where possible and a coordinate system is assigned to each tile. For each download, all associated files with each image (xml, aux, tfw, etc...) are zipped together in a ".zip" archive file. (We previously distributed data in 7z format. Although 7-zip is still an excellent zip and archive program, and free of charge and platform independent, we moved to used the zip format due to its natively wide acceptance in all platforms since this site was first launched.)




GeoExplorer

Delaware Aerial Imagery GeoExplorer The Delaware Aerial Imagery GeoExplorer is a map viewer for display of the aerial imagery. All of the aerial WMS services listed above are available in the GeoExplorer. Users may also add layers from external WMS map servers.

Launch the "Beta" Delaware Aerial Imagery GeoExplorer

GeoExplorer is an application developed by OpenGeo as part of the OpenGeo Suite, an open source application that can be downloaded free of charge from http://opengeo.org/. For the current Delaware aerial imagery application, no customization has been performed to the source code other than add the aerial imagery layers.