Overview News Inquiries Partners Specifications Links Agency Uses KyGeoNet


This initiative will continue the effort to build and maintain a current basemap for the Commonwealth that can meet the needs of its users at the state, federal, local, and regional level. A common basemap, including current color leaf-off aerial photography and elevation data (LiDAR), reduces the cost of developing GIS applications, promotes data sharing, and add efficiencies to many state agency business processes. It is planned that access to the basemap data will be made available in the public domain.


The most current digital leaf-off aerial photography of the Commonwealth was acquired in 2001 and 2002 but only east of 84 degrees longitude (ie. East of Winchester – only ¼ of the state). The photography was captured in a black and white (grayscale) format. Aerial Photography for the remaining ¾ of the state was acquired during the 1992-1998 timeframe. State and Federal Funds were leveraged at that time for the purchase of the photography.

No statewide color leaf-off aerial photography has ever been acquired for the entire Commonwealth, although leaf-on photography (fewer uses) has been purchased. All of Kentucky’s current aerial photography holdings are utilized by cities and counties, area development districts, state agencies, and the federal government.

Kentucky's Statewide Digital Aerial Photography and Elevation Basemap Update provide a common digital mapping base for state and local government, as well as the private sector. The digital aerial photography layer provides the foundation for other base layers as well as numerous thematic mapping programs throughout the state and local governments.

The multi-million dollar project is expected to span a three to four year period (be spread across two biennium) beginning in 2012. Potential funding partners for this effort include federal agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of the Interior (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the USDA Farm Services Administration (FSA), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), as well as local governments and several state agencies.

This project will provide significant savings to government and the private sector in using a common basemap, avoiding duplication, and encourage standardization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) assets throughout the Commonwealth.


September 3, 2014:  Below are links to updated KyFromAbove inventory maps. The LiDAR related maps show the status by agency and by year.  LiDAR Inventory by Year | LiDAR Inventory by Agency | Aerial Photography Inventory

April 2, 2014:  Survey Reports for the 2012 and 2013 KyFromAbove acquisitions have been posted on the Links page on this site. Please note that the information contained in the survey reports was used for the KYAPED program. The monuments are not permanent marks and may be subject to removal. They are also not Geodetic Control points.  Survey Reports

April 1, 2014:  Photo Science and GRW are actively acquiring LiDAR and Imagery for the 2014 KyFromAbove acquisition. Significant progress has been made but optimum weather conditions have only existed for a few days during this Spring flying season. It has been noted that high water levels and cloudy days in the acquisition area could hamper efforts again this year.   2014 Acquisition Map

March 6, 2014:  The 2014 KyFromAbove acquisition area has been defined and the funding package is complete. Partners for 2014 include: KYTC, NRCS, AML, TVA, DGI, and Hopkins County. We appreciate everyone's support of this important effort.  2014 Acquisition Map

February 12, 2014:  The new 1 foot resolution imagery acquired for the KyFromAbove Project Area 1 in Spring of 2013 has been reviewed and is out for download. Thanks for everyone's support and patience during the review process.  Metadata

November 11, 2013:  The new 6" resolution imagery acquired for McCracken County in Spring of 2013 has been reviewed and is out for download. Thanks for everyone's support and patience during the review process.  Metadata

August 20, 2013: It is that time of year again! DGI and its KyFromAbove partners are beginning their review of imagery and LiDAR data that was acquired during the Spring of 2013. Check out these two status maps for more information on when the LiDAR data was collected and the which partners were part of this truly collaborative effort.  Inventory by Year | Inventory by Agency

All 1' resolution imagery from the the 2012 KyFromAbove effort is now available for download via the Geoportal or it can be accessed via an ArcGIS Server Image Service. Use this simple viewer to take a peek at this new resource.

Select datasets from the the 2012 KyFromAbove effort are now available for download or access via the KyGeoNet's ArcGIS Server Image Services. All of the 6" imagery for Franklin, Kenton, Campbell, Oldham, Jefferson, and Bullitt Counties is available and the new 5' DEMs are online for over 40% of the Commonwealth. Use the Geoportal to search for the downloadable datasets and image services that are associcated with these resources.

The acquisition of both aerial photography and elevation data in 2012 was successful within both Project Area #1 and Project Area #2. DGI is now taking delivery of both products and a thorough review is underway. Review of the data will likely continue up until the end of 2012. Distribution of the data will begin once the review has been completed. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data tiles derived from previously collected LiDAR data will be available for download in the coming weeks. Planning for 2013 acquisitions is underway. Please check this site often for informational updates.

Acquisitions for the Kentucky Aerial Photography and Elevation Data Program (KYAPED) will begin in Spring of 2012 in selected areas of the Commonwealth. More information regarding the Project Areas for 2012 will be made available in the coming weeks. Data is not expected to be available for distribution until very late 2012. Information will be posted as it is made available.

An award has been made for RFP-758-1200000087, Digital Orthoimagery and LiDAR. The contract was awarded on December 22, 2011 to GMR Aerial Surveys, Inc dba Photo Science. For additional information, please visit the Commonwealth's eprocurement website @: http://eprocurement.ky.gov. The Master Agreement Number for this effort is MA 758 1200000546 1.

Program Inquiries

Inquiries regarding the Commonwealth's Aerial Photography & Elevation Data Program can be directed to Tom Rossman:

Tom Rossman, Director
Commonwealth Office of Technology
Office of Application Development
Division of Geographic Information
100 Fair Oaks Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-6412

Partnership Listing

Below is a listing of the Partners involved in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Program Efforts:

KYTC - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
AML - Kentucky Abandoned Mine Lands
DGI - Kentucky Division of Geographic Information
DOW - Kentucky Division of Water
NRCS - Natural Resources Conservation Service
USGS - United States Geological Survey
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority
KSU - Kentucky State University
LOJIC - Louisville-Jefferson County Information Consortium
FPB - Frankfort Plant Board
DOD - Department of Defense - Fort Knox
Boone County Planning Commission
City of Florence
Hardin County Fiscal Court
Hopkins County Fiscal Court
Paducah/McCracken County


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