October 6 , 2008

Arkansas State Land Information Board

Minutes October 6, 2008

Via Teleconference Call 1-866-800-8622

10:00am - 12pm


Board Members Attending
Ms. Phyllis Poché - Chair
Ms. Tracy Moy – Vice Chair
Ms. Bekki White
Mr. Randy Everett
Kasey Summerville
Judge Clayton Castleman
Dr. Rob Kissell
Bruce Gorham, proxy for Dr. Fred Limp
Mr. Earl Smith
Mr. Glen Dabney
Mr. John Ed Isbell

Board Members Absent
Judge Jerry Hunton

Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) Staff
Mr. Shelby Johnson
Mr. Learon Dalby

Advisory Panel and Guests Attending
Mr. Stephen Walker, USDA Farm Services Agency, Little Rock

The meeting was called to order by Chair Poché at 10:05AM.

Board members and guests were welcomed to meeting by the Chair.  The minutes of the June 11, 2008 meeting were distributed electronically to members prior to the meeting.  The Chair requested a motion for approval of the minutes.

Motion: Judge Clayton Castleman motioned approval of the minutes, as distributed
Second: Kasey Summerville seconded the motion.  There being no discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

New Business
Develop Board's Position on State Participation in the USDA Farm Services Agency National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).

Shelby introduced the issue facing the Board. He began by discussing the importance of imagery and remarked the digital ortho imagery of the state has been the number one downloaded data product and service of the Board through GeoStor since 2005.  He stated the 2006 imagery had been distributed to every County E9-1-1 and every Assessor Office in the state. He then provided an overview of an Issue Paper prepared for the Board attached as Exhibit 1 Page 4.  Following the overview of the issue Shelby closed by asking the Board if there were any questions?

Bruce Gorham, a remote sensing specialist, from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies provided a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of leaf on versus leaf off imagery.

Bekki White commented that for geological mapping they prefer leaf off imagery but must consider the greater needs of the state.

Randy Everett commented about the desire of leaf off for utility mapping but wanted to bear in mind the needs of the state to update the data.

Phyllis Poche echoed the comments of White and Everett about the importance of meeting the needs for the greatest number of imagery users in the state.

Tracy Moy requested if the AGIO were aware of any other parties that were interested in acquiring leaf on data?  Shelby responded that AGIO was not aware of any users requesting leaf on data.  But he did comment that users were interested in receiving updated data.  In particular he referenced the County Assessor Offices and that several counties had asked when new imagery would be acquired.

Kasey Summerville stated that for County reappraisals the Assessors need leaf off imagery to see new construction and she worried that in the forested areas of the state any new construction would be difficult to see.

Glen Dabney offered that in his experience as a Forester and working in the forest industry that nearly all forest applications required imagery to be leaf off because it provided the best distinction between hardwood and softwood.

Judge Clayton Castleman offered the perspective of county governments needing to see roads and other infrastructure and the state needed to move forward.

Dr Kissell provided input saying the leaf off would be favored compared to leaf on.

Earl Smith stated there appears to be a strong case for leaf off imagery with but could support a leaf on mission given the partnership funding opportunity that USDA was providing.  Earl commented the important issue was whether or not state agencies could provide partnership funding to cover the entire state under their current budget and the timing was not good. Agencies would have to commit surplus funds ahead of the time they would know what if any surplus might exist.

Earl Smith suggested if there were agencies and private cooperators that could support FSA they should be encouraged to do so.

Motion: Robert Kissell motioned that AGIO pursue leaf off mission as in the past and be aware of future missions for leaf on partnerships.
Second: Randy Everett seconded motion.  There being no further discussion the Chair called the question and the motion passed unanimously.

Motion: Bekki White motioned to adjourn the meeting.
Second: Kasey Summerville seconded the motion.  There being no further discussion the Chair called the question and the meeting adjourned at 11:00 am

Next ASLIB meeting December 3, 2008

Minutes prepared by Shelby D Johnson

Exhibit 1

Leaf On Versus Leaf Off State Participation in the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) What is the State’s Direction?

Prepared for the Arkansas State Land Information Board

September 26, 2008

Prepared by Shelby D Johnson, State Geographic Information Officer, Department of Information Systems, Arkansas Geographic Information Office

Executive Summary

In summer of 2009 the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency (FSA) will produce digital orthoimagery covering 90% of the state of Arkansas.  This data will be flown under the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).  The state can partner to cover the remainder.  This would update the state’s digital orthophotography database at dramatically lower cost to the state.  The data is used as a base map layer for a multitude of applications.  Digital orthophotography is a fundamental map layer for the state’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and is defined as a framework data layer in the law creating the State Land Information Board.

The four band product available through this program is identical to imagery procured through the state program with the exception of one major difference.  The FSA requires leaf on flight missions. This paper discusses issues associated with participating in the FSA project. This approach would require a change from prior state specifications of leaf off (winter missions).  This change has serious consequences for users needing to locate infrastructure and real estate improvements.

The AGIO requests the State Land Information Board provide guidance and set the state’s strategic direction regarding this issue.

Background of the NAIP Program
NAIP is a program to acquire peak growing season “leaf on” imagery, and deliver this imagery to USDA County Service Centers, in order to maintain the common land unit (CLU) boundaries and assist with farm programs.  In 2006 the program was fully funded and through efforts by FSA they were able to acquire statewide coverage of Arkansas at two meter resolution.  The compressed county mosaics (CCMs) of this data were provided to the state and the data was made available via the GeoStor FTP site.

The goal of NAIP is to collect 1 meter imagery for the entire conterminous United States. The imagery is either natural color or “four band” imagery, and is delivered in the year of acquisition.  FSA has a goal to begin collecting this data on a three year cycle with the first being 2009 and then 2012.  The data will be collected during leaf on conditions.  The program is not fully funded for 2009 and therefore will ONLY produce imagery for 90% of the state of Arkansas that contains CLU locations.  Although the entire state will be flown, the areas without CLUs will not be processed.  The State can partner with FSA to produce the remaining areas within the contract.  FSA will manage the contract, conduct initial quality control and swiftly provide all the deliverables to the state.  The data is considered public domain and therefore could be distributed to Land Information Board constituents.

Background of the State Program
The Arkansas Digital Ortho Program (ADOP) is a state based effort to procure statewide digital orthophotography for the people of Arkansas and deliver this product via the state’s GIS data clearinghouse.  This program was the first major effort instituted by the Board.  In 2001 a statewide leaf off mission was launched and completed.  The project received the majority of funding from the Economic Development Fund of Arkansas, and cooperative funding from federal, state, local and private partners.  The data was updated again in 2006 as a leaf off product.  The second update received a General Improvement Fund appropriation by the legislature and was funded from the Governor’s portion.  The second project specification was changed to require a digital sensor to acquire both natural color and color infrared.  This product has been the number one product downloaded from GeoStor since the inception of the system. AGIO has delivered this data to every County Assessor and County E9-1-1 office in the state.  The ADOP data has become the back bone of the County Assessor Mapping Program and the Arkansas Centerline File Program.

AGIO placed a request in its biennial budget to update the ADOP data again with a proposed mission launch in winter 2010.  At this time the likelihood of funding for this request is unknown.

State GIS Clearinghouse Usage
Table 1 shows a comparison of the number of downloads by county for ADOP leaf off versus NAIP leaf on since 2006 from the GeoStor file download site.  These numbers do not reflect requests individually processed through GeoStor. These numbers do not do reflect any usage numbers reported from FSA.
Table 1

NAIP Leaf On Downloads  - 5,751
ADOP Leaf Off County Mosaics RGB Downloads – 27,109

Issues for Consideration
The proposed 2009 NAIP four band product is virtually identical to current state products with the exception of the leaf on requirement.

The 2009 NAIP found band product would be 1 meter resolution, natural color and color infrared, tiled by USGS quarter quads. (Same as the 2006 Arkansas product.)

A decision to partner with FSA must be made before December 31st, 2008.

FSA would hold the contract, manage the project and deliver the product.

FSA requires a single state point of contact for project cooperators.

The mission would be flown in June and July of 2009 with product delivery beginning after 60 days as areas are acquired and processed.

Arkansas’ estimated cost share to partner with FSA is $120,002 on the four band product.  AGIO believes the four band product is a superior product.

Arkansas’ estimated cost share to partner with FSA is $76,562 on the film product.

At this time AGIO does not have funding to fulfill the state’s estimated cost.  If directed by the Board AGIO could act as the single point of contact for the state.  AGIO could identify and coordinate with potential state cooperators for funding.

If the state does not participate FSA will produce the data for the quarter quads for their use where it overlaps their Common Land Units (farm fields).  This is roughly 90% of the state.

Areas of the state that lack Common Land Unit locations are primarily in the upland areas of the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests where there are no farm fields.

If the state does not participate FSA will create a compressed county mosaic for each county and would share that with the state after the project has ended.

Leaf on imagery is ideally suited to monitor crops, crop types, crop health, timber types, timber stands, biomass and other applications.  Man made features under tree canopy are not visible and therefore cannot be mapped.

Leaf off imagery is ideally suited for base mapping activities where the imagery serves as a visual reference to digitize features and structures.

Leaf off is better suited for mapping smaller streams in the upland areas of the state.

Arkansas NAIP Cost Share Source FSA


Partnership Contribution

Full State Partnership Contribution

4 Band






*Cost share estimates are for planning purposes only and are subject to change.

Minimum partnership contribution refers to the minimum cost share amount required from State and local funding and does not guarantee full state coverage.
Full State partnership contribution refers to the amount needed to complete full State coverage. The optimum situation would be for Federal partnerships at the National level to cover this amount, independent of State partnership contribution. However, to guarantee full State coverage, State partner consortiums can fund this amount.

** The Minimum Cost share amount is enough to complete full state coverage. This occurs in smaller states and in states with a high percentage of agricultural land, as defined by USDA Farm Service Agency

Benefits of Digital Orthophotography

The following lists categories of digital orthophotography users with their typical use type of leaf off shaded in blue vs. leaf on shaded in green.

  • Assessors – to locate and discover new real estate improvements that can be added to the assessment roll
  • County Clerks – for locating Voter registration rolls and to improve the accuracy of precinct boundaries
  • E9-1-1 Emergency – to verify new roads and other features that are used by people as points of reference, to search for new houses, subdivision and roads not on maps yet, and to check roads, that are more like trails and logging roads that should not be used by ambulances and to make an analysis of calls more detailed by including the surrounding area so that it is visually easy to see the neighborhood
  • Economic Development – used to showcase industrial parks, potential development sites, site relation to transportation and infrastructure
  • Realtors – to showcase properties in relationship to adjoining properties
  • Land Surveyors – to assist with survey research and project planning
  • Engineers – to assist with project proposal development and preliminary design work
  • Emergency Management – to develop evacuation plans, mitigation plans and to compare areas pre-post disasters
  • Farmers – can analyze farmland images to increase production, plan irrigation, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide applications
  • Aerial Applicators – receive plan and execute farm spray request and ensure the Ag pilots spray the correct fields, limit over spray on neighboring fields and reduce flying fuel costs
  • USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service - Used in conservation planning which benefits the agricultural industry and farmers in the state
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service -   for studying movement patterns of fish eating birds to better manage these species within the state’s aquaculture areas
  • Timber Industry – to map timber stands, plan harvests, locate new timber resources, plan timber roads, recreation sites, manage hunting leases, and ensure the industry meets best management practices such as avoiding stream buffers
  • Forest Fire Fighting – to map locations of fire in difficult terrain, locate roads or trails for access and to plan and construct fire lines
  • Hunters and Fishermen – can find the specific location of their favorite spot, manage their hunting clubs and make sure their relatives know locations where they plan to hunt
  • Tourism – Updated imagery for consumer-related providers of imagery such as Microsoft Virtual Earth or Google Earth
  • Natural Gas Exploration – to research and secure leases, plan routes for roads, pipelines and access points, and to educate landowners
  • Floodplain Management – for locating and mapping floodways, levees, and flood protection infrastructure
  • Insurance Industry – to determine risk by looking at properties relative to natural hazards and measuring distances from fire stations
  • Banking Industry – for evaluating property loans, assessing financial risk, locating properties for reporting purposes such as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and planning their own portfolio of assets
  • Arkansas One Call – to help find the location of the dig sites and accurately identify what utilities are in the area all across the state
  • Utilities - to map and locate utility infrastructure and for planning when designing transmission and distribution facilities
  • Archeology – to locate historical structure, old roads, cemeteries
  • Drinking Water Protection - for proper locations of new Public Water Supply wells (estimating proximity of potential sources of contamination)
  • Attorney's - for evidence to diagram case scenarios and accident locations for cases
  • Historical Archive - to create a record of landscape and land use changes over time such as urban growth, farming, forestation, changes in river courses, infrastructure and other man-made features
  • Media and Press – to convey the location of news stories
  • Education – for teaching fields like science, biology, geography and for research
  • Cities – for planning park maintenance such as mowing schedules, to accurately asses annexations, to include in grant request maps, to showcase rezoning areas, location of assets in relation to buildings, and locating park facilities for guests