Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News releases

March 21, 2024

Latest news releases

MnDOT conducts aerial photography on highways in northwest Minnesota beginning in April

Residents asked not to disturb temporary targets

Bemidji, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking residents not to disturb aerial photography targets as crews begin aerial mapping in northwestern Minnesota. Landowners in the area that will have targets placed on or near their property will be contacted directly. Weather permitting, work will begin mid-April and conclude in late May. The mapping will take place in the following locations:

  • Highway 2 – Ball Club to Itasca CR 89
  • Highway 11 – Williams
  • Highway 59 – Thief River Falls
  • Highway 89 – Wannaska to Roseau

The aerial survey process relies on clear observations, and must be conducted after the spring melt and before the trees leaf out. To begin the process crews place an “X” on the ground as a reference point for the aerial photographer.

Aerial mapping is used to create a record of existing infrastructure and landscape along MnDOT right of way for transportation planning and highway design. In order to obtain accurate aerial mapping, MnDOT crews paint large white “X” targets on paved surfaces, and place plastic or fabric “X” targets on unpaved surfaces.

A survey crew then records the coordinate position and elevation of the temporary targets for the aerial photography company. The plastic and fabric targets are temporary and will be removed when the photography is completed.

MnDOT requests that landowners not remove or disturb the targets, if possible, until the photography is completed. If a target must be moved, please contact the District 2 survey office at 218-755-6509 or by email at drew.mistic@state.mn.us

an aerial photography target, consisting of a white X on the ground and a vertical stake with information written on it. An ATV is parked next to it.

An aerial target with a vehicle parked next to it to provide reference for size.