The Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) bought the company’s high-throughput Leica DSW500 aerial film scanner with roll film capability.

Leica Geosystems announced the sale of the company’s high-throughput Leica DSW500 aerial film scanner with roll film capability to the Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO). Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), APFO is the primary source of aerial imagery for the Department and provides aerial imagery to numerous government organizations and the private sector. The DSW500 makes the third in a team of Leica aerial film scanners operated by APFO.

Among its other roles, APFO is responsible for managing the acquisition of county-based ortho imagery generation for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) crop-monitoring program. While most of the ortho imagery is acquired through contracts, APFO operates a sophisticated network of sixteen SOCET SET digital photogrammetry workstations supplied by Leica Geosystems to support additional integration of the ortho imagery as well as limited in-house production.

In addition to supporting the FSA requirements for current ortho imagery, APFO also archives aerial photography collected by USDA in five to seven year intervals over much of the country, dating back to 1955. Over 10 million images are currently in the archive. The images provide a historic perspective for research and applications in fields such as forestry, natural disasters and agriculture. “As GIS and mapping technology moves forward, we are finding more and more demand and uses for the vast store of imagery maintained by the APFO,” stated Ronald Nicholls, Director, APFO. “At the same time, some of the older film is beginning to deteriorate. Adding another high-quality Leica scanner to our team helps us meet increasing demands of customers and time.”

One of the most powerful and reliable scanners in the industry, the Leica DSW500 scans film acquired by aerial cameras such as the Leica RC30. The digital imagery can then be corrected for variations due to hot spots, vignetting, atmospheric and film processing effects using Leica’s ImageEqualizer application. Processing can continue with systems including SOCET SET advanced digital photogrammetry workstation and ERDAS IMAGINE, a geographic imagery software suite from Leica Geosystems. Throughout the process, digital imagery and data can be archived and managed via Leica’s GeoVault Data Manager.