UCB Libraries

Aerial Photos & Satellite Imagery

aerial image

 

  • Collections at CU Boulder
  • Colorado & U.S.
  • Worldwide
  • Historical
  • Vendors

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to learn more about aerial photos available in the Map Library.

 

+ Digital Collections

 

Historical Aerial Photos of Colorado: Viewing the Changing Landscape of Colorado

This collection provides access to almost 1,700 digitized aerial photographs of Colorado taken by the U.S. Forest Service in the years from 1938 to 1947.

 

Glacier Photograph Collection (National Snow and Ice Data Center / World Data Center for Glaciology)

The National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center (NSIDC/WDC) for Glaciology in Boulder, Colorado houses many photographic prints of glaciers, taken both from the air and from the ground. To date, more than 12,000 photographs have been digitized and comprise the Glacier Photograph Collection. Most of the photographs are of glaciers in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Greenland. However, the collection does include a smaller number of photos of glaciers in Europe and South America

 

High-Resolution Orthoimagery and Digital Elevation Models for Niwot Ridge and Green Lakes Valley, Colorado (Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR))

Twelve orthophoto mosaics span seven decades — from 1938 to 2008 — at 1.0 m to 30 cm resolution. Also available are four DEMs at 30 m to 2 m resolution.

 

+ Physical Collections

 

Please contact library staff for assistance in accessing any of the following collections.

 

Colorado

Coverage from 1938 to the 1970s. 20,000 photographs taken by the U.S. Forest Service in print and on film. We also have aerial photographs of agricultural areas for the 1940s–1960s in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Elbert, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld Counties, flown by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

Landiscor Atlases

Aerial photographry for the real estate industry. The Map Library has 1989 and 2000 to present coverage of Denver and the Front Range.


City of Boulder, Boulder County, and Denver

The Map Library has purchased digital air photo images covering the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and a small part of downtown Denver. Dates range from the 1950s through the 1990s. Some restrictions apply for public use.

 

United States and International Cities

The Map Library has a small collection of print satellite photographs and aerial views of selected national and international cities. These can be found by searching in Chinook, the library catalog. Begin your exploration with these searches: aerial photographs or satellite images. The Map Library also has CDs with digital imagery for U.S. and international cities.

 

 

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to learn more about aerial photos and satellite imagery available online.

 

+ Colorado

 

Some municipalities have aerial photos online, see our list of local mapping resources.

 

USDA Geospatial Data Gateway (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Click on "Get Data" green button, then select "Colorado" from list of states in drop-down menu. Step 2: "What" has ortho imagery choices.


Historical Aerial Photos of Colorado: Viewing the Changing Landscape of Colorado (CU Boulder Jerry Crail Johnson Earth Sciences & Map Library)

Access to almost 1,700 digitized aerial photographs of Colorado taken by the U.S. Forest Service in the years from 1938 to 1947.

 

High-Resolution Orthoimagery and Digital Elevation Models for Niwot Ridge and Green Lakes Valley, Colorado

Twelve orthophoto mosaics span seven decades — from 1938 to 2008 — at 1.0 m to 30 cm resolution. Also available are four DEMs at 30 m to 2 m resolution.

 

ColoradoView (USGS)

Remote sensing and geospatial data, including Landsat, MODIS, aerial remote sensing (10 meter Digital Elevation Model (DEM)), and aerial photography of selected Colorado features. Political and natural resources geospatial data for Colorado and the U.S.

 

U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, GIS Data Library Indexes
This site includes indexes to Forest Service aerial photographs as .kmz files, which are viewable in Google Earth. Some of these photographs are available in the map library: contact the map library staff for more information.

 

+ U.S.

 

Also look at the resources in the Worldwide tab for U.S. resources in international databases.

 

Earth Resources and Observation and Science (EROS) Center

The USGS's EROS Data Center archives more than 8 million aerial photographs and handles data from several series of satellites. The Overview of USGS Imagery has descriptions of products and where they are available. EROS data discovery tools include:

  • Earth Explorer Search, preview, and download individual High Resolution Orthoimagery files. Search by map interface, text search, or coordinates.
  • Global Visualization Viewer Search and order tool for aerial and satellite products distributed by the USGS and NASA. Graphical map interface.

USDA Geospatial Data Gateway (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Click on green "Get Data" button. Select dataset by state. Step 2: "What" has ortho imagery options.

 

AmericaView: Imagery and Data Resource (USGS)

StateViews provide data archives or links to Landsat and other public domain imagery depending on the needs of the specific state.There are 39 participating states

 

USDA Aerial Photography Field Office
The primary source of aerial imagery for the United States Department of Agriculture. Over 10,000,000 images from 1955 to the present.

 

USGS Aerial Photographs and Satellite Images
Lists aerial photography and satellite imagery collections available from the USGS.

 

 

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to learn more about aerial photos and satellite imagery available online.

 

+ Worldwide Coverage

 

Earth Resources and Observation and Science (EROS) Center (USGS)

Review millions of satellite images and data including over three and a half decades of Landsat imagery. EROS data discovery tools include:

  • Earth Explorer Search, preview, and download individual High Resolution Orthoimagery files. Search by map interface, text search, or coordinates.
  • Global Visualization Viewer Search and order tool for aerial and satellite products distributed by the USGS and NASA. Graphical map interface.

Global Land Cover Facility (University of Maryland)

Research focusing on land cover and land cover change from local to global scales. ASTER, IKONOS, Landsat, MODIS, QuickBird, Orbview, and SRTM data available for download. Please note Intellectual Property Rights and Source notes/restrictions for each dataset.

 

Landsat Viewer (USGS)

  • Zoom in to area of interest, or enter place name in search box
  • Select "Select Scenes"
  • Move back through time from Oct 2011 to Jan 1999
  • Select "Labels" to view town, street, etc.
  • The table feature allows for easy exports and organization of the data imagery

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland)
NCAP holds tens of millions of aerial photographs covering places throughout the world. The vast majority of the photographs have been declassified by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and cover the Second World War and the Cold War.

 

Google Earth

Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean.

 

+ Coverage by Region

 

Antarctica

United States Antarctic Resource Center
A comprehensive source for links to Antarctic information, including aerial and satellite imagery.

 

Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica (LIMA)
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), created LIMA from more than 1,000 Landsat ETM+ scenes.

 

Antarctic Air Photography (Polar Geospatial Center, University of Minnesota)

The collection hasmore than 330,000 aerial photos, which were collected and scanned by the USGS EROS Data center. The original USGS flightline basemaps have been scanned and digitized into GIS data formats (e.g. shapefile and KMZ) available for download.

 

Australian Antarctic Territory Aerial Photographs (National Library of Australia)

Trimet Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) photography flown between 1954-1965 over the Australian Antarctic Territory and vertical photography carried out in the 1970s. Items may be identified online and viewed in the reading room, or image orders placed using the Library’s Copies Direct service.

 

Australia
National Archives of Australia
These National Archives contain more than documents – they are have photographs, posters, maps, and architectural drawings for Australia.

 

Canada

GeoGratis
Geospatial data and map images for Canada, available for download at no charge.

 

MADGIC – Airphotos of Canada

From the University of Calgary: The collection includes about one million airphotos. Primary focus is on Calgary and southern Alberta. There is less inclusive coverage for northern Alberta and the other western provinces and territories. Coverage is spotty for other areas of Canada and there is nothing outside of Canada. Airphotos have been taken at various scales and years; City of Calgary coverage starts in 1924.

 

Western Europe
The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives
A collection of over five million World War II aerial reconnaissance photographs of Western Europe that have been deposited by The UK Ministry of Defence.

 

France
SIRIUS (SPOT imagery)
A catalog of more than 4 million images taken by the French SPOT satellites (catalog and site in French).

 

Spain
Infraestructura de Datos Espaciales de España (IDEE).
Maps and data portal for Spain.

 

+ Environment and Environmental Change

 

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change (USGS)
Before and after Landsat images showing environmental change. Several U.S. and international cities highlighted.

 

Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
SIR-C/X-SAR is a joint U.S.-German-Italian project that uses highly sophisticated imaging radar to capture images of Earth. Many international cities highlighted.

 

Earth Snapshot
A daily view of the planet.


Earth From Space (NASA)
Choose a type of photo (cities, significant features, etc.) or click on a map to select images of earth taken from space.

 

EarthObservatory (NASA)

Global images related to climate and the environment. Topics include Natural Hazards, Atmosphere, Heat, Land, Life, Oceans, Snow and Ice, Human Prescence, Remote Sensing. Also, global maps of Aerosol Optical Depth, Aerosol Size, Carbon Dioxide, Chlorophyll, Cloud Fraction, Fire, Land Surface Temperature, Net Radiation, Sea Surface Temperature, Snow Cover, Rainfall, Vegetation, Water Vapor

 

Geomorphology from Space (NASA)

"an out of print 1986 NASA publication edited by Nicholas M. Short, Sr. and Robert W. Blair, Jr. designed for use by the remote sensing science and educational communities to study landforms and landscapes... consisting of 237 plates, each treating a geographic region where a particular landform theme is exemplified. Commentary, photographs, locator maps, and sometimes a geologic map accompany each plate."

 

 

 

National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)
NARA stores historical aerial photographs taken by federal agencies. In most cases, copies can be ordered.

 

USDA Aerial Photography Field Office
The primary source of aerial imagery for the United States Department of Agriculture. Over 10,000,000 images from 1955 to the present.

 

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Many NRCS state offices have historical aerial photograph collections. Choose “Browse by Location” on the left to find an office.

 

U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, GIS Data Library Indexes
This site includes indexes to Forest Service aerial photographs as .kmz files, which are viewable in Google Earth. Some of these photographs are available in the map library: contact the map library staff for more information.

 

USGS Fact Sheet: "Looking for an Old Aerial Photograph"
Tips on searching for historical aerial photography.

 

 

A selection of links to some of the larger aerial photography or satellite imagery vendors. Linking to these vendors implies no endorsement of these companies.

 

Aerial Archives

Custom aerial photography and aerial and satellite image research services.

 

AeroGRID
Aerial photography of Europe.

 

Colorado Aerial Photo Service (CAPS)
Historic and current black-and-white aerial photo maps of Denver and many other Colorado towns and cities from 1948 to the present.

 

GeoEye
"GeoEye imagery products serve the growing national and international demand for highly-detailed imagery in applications such as mapping, national security, environmental monitoring, urban planning, resource management, homeland defense, commercial fishing and emergency preparedness." (OrbImage and Space Imaging are now GeoEye.)

 

Landiscor

"Current aerial imagery and satellite imagery integrated with real estate information and GIS data."

 

MapMart

Custom imagery projects and an historical aerial photography collection dating back to the 1930s.

 

National Aerial Resources
Current and historical aerial photography of the United States.

 

Spaceshots (Satellite Photos)
Spaceshots sells poster-sized, high-quality satellite images and panoramic aerial views of cities. Most of the images come from Landsat 4 and 5 satellites represented by EOSAT (Earth Observation Satellite Company), while other images come from foreign satellites like the French SPOT satellite.

 

Terra Image USA
SPOT satellite imagery vendor.

 

Tobin International
Current and historical aerial photography.

 

Search for an aerial photographer in your area
From the Professional Aerial Photographers’ Association International (PAPA).