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How is aerial photography used in Minnesota?

Aerial imagery taken over Minnesota has been incorporated into a wide variety of projects for decades. In some cases, the availability of imagery makes a project possible; in others, it greatly increases a project's effectiveness or makes it more efficient to complete.

These webpages highlight a sampling of projects. If you have an example that could be added, please contact us at: or 651-201-2489.

Natural color imagery

Creating public information websites

Chisago Co. website exampleChisago County's mapping website presents a wealth of data online to the public. People can view numerous data themes and can choose a backdrop of either air photos or a topographic map. The photos provide a real-life view of the landscape that helps to put the other data, such as parcel boundaries, into context.

Click here for more examples of uses of natural color imagery.


Color-infrared imagery (CIR)

What is CIR imagery?

Assessing health of sugar beets

CIR imagery can help detect plant disease before it becomes visible to the human eye, enabling farmers to take action earlier and manage production more effectively. High resolution satellite imagery was used to detect Rhizomania, a disease that affects sugar beets and other crops. The areas where Rhizomania was suspected appear green in a field of bright red. Ground truthing confirmed the presence of the disease. The adjacent fields to the west appear to have been left fallow or recently plowed based on their blue-green appearance which indicates the soils may be clayey and have high organic and moisture content. The imagery was provided by the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium for American Crystal Sugar farmers in northwest Minnesota and North Dakota.

Click here for more examples of uses of color-infrared imagery.

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Related sites


Return to MnGeo's first-stop Aerial Photography page

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