About this page:

This page provides an overview of the status of the digital orthophoto quarter-quadrangle (DOQQ) program in North Carolina. This includes information about both the black and white program and the color infrared program.

A GIS page has been developed; it contains additional suggestions for the use of DOQQs and other digital products:

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Overview of digital orthophoto quarter-quadrangle program in North Carolina:

North Carolina has two generations of statewide photography used to produce digital orthophoto quarter-quadrangles (DOQQs). The first is black and white photography that was acquired in the spring of 1993.

The second generation is color infra-red acquired in the spring of 1998 and 1999; these data in the eastern third of North Carolina are being digitized. It is anticipated that these data will be served on the Internet, possibly as soon as 2001. The photographs for the entire state are available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The following refers to the status and availability of DOQQs produced from the 1993 black and white photography. Click the link for information about the status of color infra-red photography.


About Digital Orthophoto Quarter-Quadrangles:

Digital orthophotography is recognized throughout North Carolina as one of several critical geospatial data sets needed to effectively manage and use geographic information systems in statewide, regional and local databases and spatial applications. Orthophotography is needed as a base on which to collect and maintain other surface based data such as transportation, cadastral, and agricultural activities, and is highly effective when used in the presentation of natural phenomena, existing and historic conditions, and results of analysis.

The State Mapping Committee (SMAC) was directed by the NC Geographic Information Coordinating Council to pursue the development and acquisition of digital orthophotography for the state. By Statement of Direction, the SMAC has been authorized to cooperate with the US Geological Survey on the development of Digital Orthophotography Quarter-Quadrangles (DOQQs) -- a project that satisfies SMAC requirements for digital imagery.

Joint Funding Agreements between the NC Geological Survey, the NC Department of Transportation, and the NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and the US Geological Survey were used beginning in 1995 to "jump start" the production of 1:12,000-scale (3.75-minute) DOQQs for the state. In a Joint Funding Agreement each state dollar is matched by a federal dollar. The state agencies named above have funded this statewide project.

The DOQQs are produced from 1993 NAPP photography; nominal pixel resolution is 1-3 meters. The source photography is black and white. The photographs were taken with a 6-inch lens; nominal flight height was 20,000 feet. Most photography was taken in March-April, 1993 (leaf-off). The source photography may be ordered as well.

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Purchasing DOQQs:

The NC Geological Survey carries DOQQs in CD-ROM format. Purchase is by telephone, "over the counter," by mail or in person. We accept cash, check or money order, or credit card. All sales are final. State agencies may use Journal 10 entries. Call (919) 715-9718 for additional information; you may also contact us by e-mail at:

The cost is $7.55 plus state tax (for orders destined to NC addresses) per CD-ROM (total of $8.00). There is a nominal charge for shipping and handling. There are no discounts for multiple county orders or for government orders. The price is subject to change. The base price is based on reproduction costs.

DOQQs on tape may be purchased from the NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. Their pricing and distribution policies are different than the NCGS'; contact them for current prices and order specifications.  Contact CGIA's Data Distribution Services by telephone at (919) 733-2090, or by e-mail at

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DOQQ status statewide:

There is complete statewide coverage for the 1993 DOQQs. You can purchase the data (compressed JPEG) by county on CD-ROM. Contact the NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at (919) 733-2090 for the data on tape.

Production of county-based CD-ROMs using the 1993 data in compressed JPEG format is complete. Each CD-ROM will contain one county. These CDs are available through the NCGS.

As of March, 2000, you can view (and print) the 1993 data at The geospatial data cannot be downloaded from that site.

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Color infrared photography in North Carolina

The entire state was flown using color infrared film in the spring of 1998; this is a jointly funded project with the US Geological Survey. Funds were committed to fly the entire state; funds are being sought to produce DOQQs of the images. It is unknown when these data will be available in digital format because of funding concerns.

Photography for the eastern and western thirds of the state were accepted from the 1998 flight. The central one-third of the state was reflown in the spring of 1999. Also a few small areas were reflown in 1999. The 1998 General Assembly appropriated one million dollars to digitize the photography and serve it on the Internet. Funds are being sought for the approximately two million additional dollars needs for state matching funds.

The first set of digital CIR data is to be delivered in July, 2000. This will consist of about 1,200 DOQQs. The data will be delivered in BIP format. It will be converted to Mr. Sid or JPEG format to be served on the Internet. It is anticipated that the CIR data will eventually be available on CD-ROM. The following CIR image is part of the Farmville NE DOQQ. Scroll past this image to see the status of DOQQ CIR in North Carolina.

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For further information:

Order DOQQs from our sales office.

Return to GIS page.

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Back to Main Maps Page Back to NCGS Main Page

Author: Dr. Jeffrey C. Reid, PG, CPG.
Copyright © North Carolina Geological Survey, all rights reserved.
Revised: February 27, 2001.