Aerial Photography Collection
The MAP Library holds extensive collections of print and digital aerial imagery, primarily of Oregon. The collection dates back to 1929 and is updated regularly. The collections tend to be organized by provenance, that is, by the agency or company that produced the original images. The print collection is not open to the public. Patrons are asked to use our MAP Research Service and submit a request form to gain access to the collection. We have images from agencies such as the USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now the NRCS), the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, and the Oregon Department of Revenue, to name a few.
Historic aerial photography is a valuable research tool for both physical and human geography. For example, click on the following thumbnails to see how the UO campus has changed through time:
|1936: from one of our oldest projects; produced by the Army Corps of Engineers||1955: produced by photogrammetrist H. G. Chickering||1977: produced by a private company, Skyview Aerial Survey, Inc.||1990: produced by the Bureau of Land Management||2005: from the Oregon Imagery Explorer|
Guides to the Aerial Print Collection
Information about the photography has been organized and annotated for primary coverage of Oregon and Washington cities and towns, which can be downloaded as a complete file or viewed online. For aerial photography within the National Forest and Bureau of Land Management, we have organized and annotated aerial flight projects by their forest name (e.g. Willamette, Fremont, etc..) or district, as in the case of BLM.
Feel free to browse these online or download them for local use.
- Aerial Coverage for Oregon and Washington Cities and Towns
- Aerial Coverage for U.S. National Forests in Oregon and Washington
- Aerial Coverage for Bureau of Land Management lands
Increasingly, aerial imagery is being captured and used digitally with GIS software. The MAP Library is currently evaluating how best to offer online access to our digital collections. We do offer unrestricted access to 1995 1m DOQs in MrSID format for most of northwestern Oregon on our GIS download pages:
The remainder of our digital collections are available only upon request. Highlights include:
- University of Oregon Campus, East Eugene,Digital Aerial Photos: 2002
- Lane Council of Governments 2008 imagery (LCOG 2008)
Coverage of most non-federal land in Lane County, including:
- 6" resolution orthophotography for the Eugene UGB, flown in April 2008.
- 6" resolution orthophotography for the Springfield UGB, flown in April 2008.
- 6" resolution orthophotography for the McKenzie River.
- 12" resolution orthophotography of non-Federal land in the remainder of Lane County.
- 2005 1m color DOQQs in tiff format for Oregon
- 1994/95 1m grayscale DOQs in tiff format for Oregon
We also have frequently requested selections of the print collection pre-scanned for campus researchers:
- Mt. Pisgah
- The confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers
- The downtown Portland waterfront north of Burnside.
Sample Photography from our collection:
- Aerials of Eugene: 1936
- Aerials of Eugene: 1978
- Aerials of Corvallis: 1936
- Sample Phase 1 set of aerials: This is what a Phase 1 research request looks like when it is delivered. This sample set is for a standard-sized area of interest in Portland, scanned at 600 dpi.
Once scanned, the scale of the original printed image becomes unimportant, and difficult to determine without knowing the parameters of how the image was scanned and the scale of the original photograph. In the digital realm, we more often talk of 'ground pixels': the real-world size of one pixel in the image. For example, a photograph with a scale of 1:12,000, scanned at 600 pixels-per-inch, yields an image with 1.667 foot pixels.
Other sites for Aerial Photography:
- Oregon Explorer
Online access to 2005 .5m orthoimagery.
- Oregon Geospatial data clearhinghuse
2000/2001 Oregon 1m DOQs in MrSID format
- Lane Regional Information Center
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Portland District
- Lane Regional Data Center @ LCOG
- Western Aerial Contractors (WAC)
- Washington State Department of Transportation Aerial Photography
- USDA Aerial Photography Field Office
- USGS EROS
Descriptive list of different types of aerial and remote imagery with links to acquire or search for a specific area.
- USGS Earth Explorer
Search for aerial photography at USGS based on type of data
- USGS Optical Science Labratory
Aerial Camera Specifications and Calibration reports
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Search for historical cartographic materials in the Cartographic and Architectural Section
- Google Earth
Google Earth now has historical imagery for most of the state from the mid 1990s to the present.