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Library Research Guides

Aerial Photographs and Imagery Research Guide

A research guide to assist patrons in finding aerial photograph and aerial imagery resources.

Federal Agency Programs

  • National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) - 1987 to 2007. Black and white and color infrared. Info at https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/NAPP
  • National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) - 1980 to 1989. Black and white and color infrared. Info at https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/NHAP

Aerial Photos Online

Sometimes it is more convenient to have a digital copy of an aerial photograph.  Having a photograph as a PDF, TIFF, or JPEG gives the user the power to highlight particular areas of the photo or otherwise manipulate it using programs like Adobe Photoshop.  There are many websites that host collections of aerial photographs; the list on this page shows some that could be useful.

Different sources have different policies about data sharing.  Be aware that while some aerial photographs are free and readily available for download, others require payment or will just show an index and ask patrons to visit the library in person.  Other resources may show photographs that are not available for download.  However, these are still useful for research purposes.

Nearmap

Nearmap is a subscription service that provides current, high resolution aerial maps. Maps are available for view in the browser-based interactive web mapping application, as well as for download.

Sites include many major metropolitan areas in the United States only. Specific coverage can be determined by using the tool at https://go.nearmap.com/coverage .

To gain access to Nearmap, campus users should email nearmapsupport@umich.edu with a brief description of your need.

Aerial Photos Links