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Westmoreland County

Publications: Aerial Photography

[ Prints ] [ Digital Orthophotographs ] [ SPC's 2001-2 Aerial Photography ] [ US Geological Survey Orthophotographs ]


SPC has an extensive collection of aerial photography for the region, dating back to 1966.

Aerial photographs are also available for viewing and use in SPC's office. To make an appointment, or order prints, please call Kirk Brethauer at (412) 391-5590 x 347 or e-mail kbrethauer@spcregion.org.

Brownfield, Beaver County
Shell Cracker Plant Site, Beaver County

Digital Orthophotographs

Digital orthophotographs, or "orthos", are aerial photographs that have been scanned into a digital format and rectified to their exact geographic position on the ground. Incorporating orthos into a Geographic Information System (GIS), allows SPC and local governments to develop highly accurate base maps of the region's infrastructure, environmental features, and land use.

With direction from county planners and other stakeholders, SPC embarked on a comprehensive Land Use / Land Cover Inventory for the region. Using image processing software, SPC is combining satellite imagery with orthophotographs to classify the region’s landscape into 22 different categories representing the built and natural environments. The outcomes from the project will aid in calibrating SPC’s models and forecasts for improved future projections and tracking of changes, and will assist our planning partners with zoning, recreation, agriculture, and watershed programs.

SPC's 2000-01 Aerial Photography

The SPC acquired 1"=1,200', black and white aerial photography, and related control information for 9 counties of the SPC region*. This high-resolution imagery was designed to produce photography with the most possible uses, and will enable SPC and local governments to update and create accurate GIS data.

This high-resolution imagery was designed to produce photography with the most possible uses, and to enable SPC and local governments to update and create accurate GIS data.

Utilizing ground control and Airborne GPS, part of the SPC region was successfully photographed in Spring 2000, with the remaining coverage obtained in Spring 2001. Over 6,400 high-quality photographs were taken under good weather conditions, and are capable of being used to produce 1' pixel resolution orthos, planimetric data; and topography that utilizes a 5-foot contour interval. At this scale and resolution, buildings, automobiles, storm drains, pavement markings, and even manhole-covers are easily identified from the imagery.

Orthophotographs were completed for the bulk of the region, with the exception of areas that were scheduled for aerial missions after 2001. Due to strict specifications and exacting quality control procedures, the orthos meet or exceed National Map Accuracy Standards for mapping at a scale of 1" = 200'.

Interested parties may use products from this photography to develop digital topography and planimetric mapping. Download Products Available from Aerials, to see specifications and what's available, and contact SPC for more information. ArcView shapefiles are also available to assist interested parties in determining the coverage of the aerials and individual orthophotographs. A photo center file shows the center of all aerial negatives, and the map sheet file shows SPC's ortho tile system.

Download Aerialfiles.zip to access these files and their associated metadata.

*SPC's 2000-01 Aerial Photography does not include Lawrence County, since the county was not a member of SPC when the project began in 1999. However, Lawrence County acquired aerial photography in 1998 as part of their re-addressing project. For more information on this aerial photography, contact Lawrence County at (724) 658-2541.

Vandergrift, Westmoreland County As seen from The Air
New Castle, Lawrence County, as seen from the air.

US Geological Survey Orthophotographs

In the meantime, SPC has a complete collection of USGS orthos for all 10 counties, which have been re-projected for easy incorporation into the GIS format most commonly used throughout the region. The dates of the photography vary from 1993-1997, and are available from SPC for a nominal processing fee. Call (412) 391-5590 or e-mail comments@spcregion.org.

Long Range Transportation &
Development Plan (LRP)

Transportation Improvement
Program (TIP)

Air Quality Determination

Report On
Environmental Justice

Freight Guidebook

Guide To
Transportation Planning

Aerial Photography

Transportation Studies

Transit Obligations

2010 Census
Data Sheets

GIS Maps

Public Participation Plan

Regional ITS

Certification Review

Southwestern Pennsylvania

Two Chatham Center Suite 500
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 391-5590 (P)
(412) 391-9160 (F)

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