I've been trying to find orthoimages with 4 bands for a couple of counties in California. I managed to download some from the GeoSpatial Data Gateway from the USDA (NRCS), but they all only have 3 bands even though it says that images from after 2010 were acquired with 4 bands. (They are called 2012 National Ag. Imagery Program Mosaics.)

I've tried so many other sites - USFS, USGS, etc. to get 4 band images (that aren't massive) to no avail. I feel like EarthExplorer from USGS possibly has what I need, but I can't figure out which data is what I'm looking for since they have so many options. Can someone please advise on how I can get this info? The pictures I downloaded from the USDA are perfect and beautiful if they just had the 4 bands.

  • Related: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/44994 Do you need a higher resolution like NAIP or would something lower like Landsat work?
    – Chris W
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:03
  • I think Landsat would work - this is just for a personal project. On the link you included most answers direct to the USDA site, where it claims the NAIP orthos I tried to download should have been 4-band, but they just weren't.
    – user36952
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:08
  • No, those answers and the metadata you've been looking at point out the data was acquired in four band. Availability for download is a different story, as Jeffrey's answer there points out. The USDA site isn't terribly clear about this distinction or where to actually get the four band imagery - it just provides plenty of info on where it's available for and not how to get it. To get the NIR band you have to go to the state level, as his comment link here provides.
    – Chris W
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:11
  • @Jeffrey Evans Thank you! I'm trying the data from the Cal-Atlas page now. I had tried looking on there before but their search/browse functions are just awful. Unfortunately their search tool link on this site is broken as well, but hopefully it works out. The one tif I downloaded from there covered a smaller area than I was hoping for.
    – user36952
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:21
  • @Chris W That is frustrating about the USDA site. I had been avoiding the California site because it sucks so hard - I doubt I would've been able to find the info Jeffrey linked to! Thanks for your help!
    – user36952
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:22

4 Answers 4


Earth Explorer is an invaluable source for NAIP imagery. Access these images using the following steps:

  1. Define your area of interest in the "Search Criteria" tab. Here you can specify a county in CA by navigating to the Predefined Area tab > Add Shape > California > County > YourCounty
  2. Select data: Data Sets tab > Aerial Imagery > NAIP JPG2000
  3. Select your images and download them
  • Does earth explorer provide a url where I can download a desired set of tif files in a scripted way (e.g. with wget)? Suppose I know I want to download m_4009202_se_15_1_20170811.tif and m_4609346_ne_15_1_20170921.tif -- can I download them from earth explorer without pointing and clicking?
    – Adrian
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 0:54
  • I am afraid that the answer is no. I couldn't find a way to iterate the dowlnoading of NAIP 2018 data using a command line tool such as wget.
    – Mattma
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 23:06

The Cal-Atlas site has 2012 NAIP R,G,B,NIR quarter-quad tiffs available for download.

The USDA-APFO provides a REST ArcGIS webmap service which now contains the NIR band. To use this service you will need to add a GIS Server in ArcGIS.

1) Open ArcCatalog and in the Catalog Tree select "GIS Servers" 2) Double click "Add ArcGIS Server" 3) In wizard select "Use GIS Services" and click next 4) Under "Server URL" enter "gis.apfo.usda.gov/arcgis/services" and click finish.

This service will then be available in ArcGIS through add data. Just click the add data button, under the "Look in" drop-down (at top) select "GIS Servers" and double click the service that you added "arcgis on gis.apfo.usda.gov (user)". Navigate to NAIP and the state you would like and you will get a state-wide mosaic.

  • 1
    The Cal-Atlas link is broken
    – Adrian
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 3:24

For those looking for the new atlas site to get NAIP imagery.....

hot off the press....



Bulk CONUS NAIP is available on Amazon Web Services as part of Earth on AWS program. Some states have 5 years of data. The collection will increase soon with the addition of 2018 data. This is a joint effort between AWS and ESRI. It is described here https://registry.opendata.aws/naip/ Note 1) that there are 3 Amazon S3 buckets described on RODA, naip-source (original), naip-visualization (Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs), and naip-analytic (MRF, LERC compressed). Both the naip-visualization and naip-analytic buckets are meant to be used in-situ by leveraging GDAL's ability to do range-gets on large geoTIFFs. Note 2) All of these buckets are marked requester-pays. That means you need an AWS account or IAM keys to access the data, and if you choose to pull the data out of the us-west-2 AWS Region (Oregon) where is it staged, then you will be charged data egress fees. Usage in Region is not charged.

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