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Discover basics


Discover serves raster data (raster base maps and aerial imagery) as web services using the WMS , opens in a new tab and WMTS , opens in a new tab standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

Access levels and links

We have two different levels of access to Discover: general and licensed. General access is available to anyone and includes all our base maps and our publicly-available imagery (including the NAIP imagery). These services are only subject to our standard data license and disclaimer.

Our high-resolution imagery is provided by third parties and we are subject to their licensing requirements. Only entities associated with the state as defined in the license details may access these layers.

When you register for either general or licensed access, you will receive a set of links for the services. These links contain a "quad-word" that is unique to your organization. This allows us to analyze usage trends and disable licensed links that are compromised.

You are welcome to share your links within your organization-there's no need for individual users to register separately. However, do not share your links outside of your organization.

Licensed links may not be used in publicly-available applications or services without being locked down to the application's domain. Please contact us if you need to get a set of locked-down links. We will disable any "wide-open" licensed links that are being used in publicly-available applications.

Available layers

Each layer below is available as a separate service. Layers with the "(licensed)" tag are limited to specific groups as noted in the license documentation.

Utah (licensed)
Our latest high-resolution imagery (currently the Hexagon imagery below)
Hexagon (licensed)
Approximately 6-inch natural-color aerial photography from Hexagon collected 2021. This statewide layer is a higher-resolution copy of the 2021 NAIP imagery.
Hexagon 15cm (licensed)
Approximately 6-inch natural-color aerial photography from Hexagon collected 2021. This statewide layer is a higher-resolution copy of the 2021 NAIP imagery.
Google (licensed)
Mosaic of the most recent Google 6-inch statewide natural-color aerial photography collected over 2011-2018.
Google [year] (licensed)
Year-by-year updates to the Google Imagery (the latest blocks are always incorporated into the Google service). Available Years: 2011-2018
Base map of address point locations
General reference features (highways and streets, cities, address points, parcels, etc) with a transparent background, suitable for layering over imagery or thematic data.
Basemap-Hybrid (licensed)
Combination of the Overlay base map and the Utah imagery service
A light, muted reference base map that doesn't compete with your thematic data.
Base map of hillshade, highways and streets, parks, forests, water, etc.
Base map of US Geological Survey topo maps
Digital Ortho Photo Quads (DOQ) 1990s BW
1-meter statewide black-and-white aerial photography, collected in the 1990s
High Resolution Orthophotography (HRO) 2012 RGB
12.5-cm natural-color aerial photography of the Wasatch Front, collected in 2012
NAIP [year]
NAIP 1-meter statewide natural-color aerial photography. Available Years: 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021.
10-meter statewide combined hillshade and slope


While WMS and WMTS both return raster data that your client renders as a map layer, there are some key differences that make WMTS the better choice. Almost all modern clients support WMTS; generally, you should only use WMS if your software does not support WMTS.

WMS renders each request on the server according to the spatial extent requested by the client, using the server's resources to render a single, custom image for each request. While this results in a custom render for every zoom level, each pan and zoom queries a new request and a new render. In addition, to keep the server from being overwhelmed, WMS requests are often limited to a maximum number of pixels, which can cause problems when exporting or printing at large sizes or resolutions.

In contrast, WMTS serves a pre-rendered set of tiles that cover the requested extent. This results in much faster performance and unlimited export and print capabilities. However, these tiles are only pre-rendered at the common zoom scales , opens in a new tab , so the client must interpolate between these levels to render the map at custom scales, resulting in interpolation artifacts.

Offline imagery access

If you need local access to our aerial imagery, check out , opens in a new tab , where you can download individual NAIP tiles or full county mosaics.

Licensed users can use their Web Viewer and Download link to download individual Hexagon or Google imagery tiles. If you need a larger area, please contact us and we'll either help you set up a python script to download the tiles or arrange a way to transfer the data via hard drive.