Customer Service

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Customer Service

As part of the Operations Branch, the Customer Service Section (CSS) is responsible for processing work orders and coverage requests for aerial photography, digital imagery, common land unit, and related products and services. CSS is the liaison for the Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) to other government agencies and the public. CSS also maintains and monitors all fiscal activity dealing with the sale of aerial photography and digital imagery.

Researchers use several different tools to help customers determine the imagery needed such as film, photo and line indexes, and GIS software. Most imagery requests are sent by email at For more information on how to order imagery, please click on Ordering Instructions under Related Topics in the left margin.


Question: How is the customer service branch involved with imagery requests?

Answer: When a customer orders imagery, a researcher is assigned to their request. The researcher uses the information provided by the customer to determine the project years available and the exposures needed to cover the area of interest. The customer is then advised of the imagery available and an area of interest map is sent for confirmation. Finally, a work order is created and sent to the production department. To find the years of imagery available, refer to the Imagery Catalogs page.

Question: If I order imagery, when can I pick it up?

Answer: Processing time varies depending on the workload queue. The researcher assigned to a work order can provide an approximate date range upon receiving payment.

Question: Can I pay extra to expedite an order?

Answer: Unfortunately, we are unable to expedite orders. All requests are processed in the order they are received.

Question: Why can’t imagery be emailed to me?

Answer: Imagery is scanned as TIFF files which are too big to email.

Question: How do I pay for the imagery I want to order?

Answer: We accept checks and all major credit cards. Since work orders cannot be processed until full payment is received, most customers prefer to pay by credit card.