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Aerial Photography in the Map Library

Illinois Aerial Photography Web Resources
Other Aerial Photography Web Resources

The Map Library maintains a comprehensive collection of aerial photographs for all Illinoiscounties. Coverage for other states is not available, but the library can help in locating othersources of aerial photography.

UIUC Air PhotoHoldings by County

The earliest aerial photography in the collection is from the late 1930s and the most recent isfrom 2005. Photographs taken after 1988 are at the scale 1:40,000; those taken prior to 1988 tendto be at 1:20,000. All aerial photographs are in black and white except for 2005 photos of theChicago Metropolitan Area. Most of the photos measure 9×9 or 9×6 inches. The Library does not holdthe negatives. Photographs taken before 1988 were done on a county-by-county basis; photos taken in1988 and after were taken as part of a state-wide flight. Indexes are available for all sets toidentify specifically needed photographs.

Using Aerial Photography

Map Library employees are unable to retrieve photography with only a general description of anarea of interest; specific photographs must be requested. Finding photos for an area in Illinoisrequires consulting indexes (see index example ) for therelevant counties and completing a photo request form . Indices are NOTavailable online at this time. Aerial photograph users are responsible for using set indexes toidentify the photographs that they need to examine. Library employees are happy to assist withindex usage but the final responsibility for correctly identifying locations and photographs restswith the user.

When desired photographs have been identified, patrons must submit a photo request form to Library staff.Once a request has been submitted and the photographs retrieved from the collection, users havefive days in which to come to the Map Library to use them. If the requested items have not beenused for five days, the items will be returned to their files and a new request will have to besubmitted in order to view them.

Aerial photograph users are firmly reminded to not write on photographs or to apply tape orother kinds of adhesives. The markings already present on some photographs are from field use byprevious agency owners prior to Map Library ownership.

Stereoscopes allow aerial photograph users to visually combine two overlapping photographs sothat features common to both photographs can be seen in three dimensions. A few small pocketstereoscopes are available for use at the Map Library’s circulation desk. A larger mirrorstereoscopes is available 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Two magnifying glasses are available during regular library hours at the Map Library’scirculation desk.

Copying Aerial Photographs

Aerial photographs are non-circulating items, but they may be reproduced . The Map Library has adesktop scanner that patrons may use free of charge to scan small numbers of photos (ten or fewer).To scan larger numbers of items, please speak to Library staff to make arrangements to bring in desktopscanning equipment. Additionally, on weekdays, patrons with a current UIUC ID card may borrow up tofifty photographs for short time periods to scan in offices elsewhere on campus. Photographsborrowed through this mechanism must be returned by 4:30 p.m. on the day borrowed. Late photographswill be assessed a per item fine of $2.00 per hour overdue.

The Library’s Digital Content CreationServices (415 Library, 217-244-2062) can digitize, scan, and photograph items upon request.Their website has a service price guide, a reproduction request form, and additional contactinformation for the department. Turnaround time on requested services is usually 10–15 businessdays. Please consult with the Map Library staff if you are interested in this reproductionoption.

Information for Distant Users

Map Library staff are unable to consult indexes for distant users. Individuals interested inusing aerial photographs are encouraged to come to the Map Library Monday through Friday between9:00 a.m and 4:30 p.m. during Spring and Fall semesters (1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. during the summerand holiday breaks). Map Library staff will attempt to expedite pulling requested photographs forvisitors from out of town if the requests are received prior to 10:00a.m. Please call or e-mail well in advance of a visit (4–5 workingdays) to verify that the library will be open and adequately staffed to expedite requests.

Print Aerial Photo Texts

The Library owns a number of texts on aerial photography and aerial photography interpretationincluding:

Interpretation of Airphotosand Remotely Sensed Imagery . By Robert H. Arnold.
“From recent developments in digital image processing to the next generation of satellitesystems, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of remote sensing and imageinterpretation. This book is discipline neutral, so readers in any field of study can gain a clearunderstanding of these systems and their virtually unlimited applications.”

Fundamentals of Remote Sensingand Airphoto Interpretation . By Thomas Eugene Avery and Graydon Lennis Berlin.
“This book introduces readers to the detection, identification, and analysis of objects andfeatures through remote sensing and photographic interpretation.”

Illinois Aerial Photo Web Resources

UIUC Historic Aerial PhotoImagebase Project
Aerial photographs were the focus of a joint pilot project of the Map Library and theDigital Imaging and Media Technology Initiative and University Consortium of Geographic Information Science(GIS) at the University of Illinois. The project’s goals were the conservation of a badlydeteriorated collection and the provision of innovative electronic access to digital information.The aerial photo collection provides the only remaining footprints of historical land and resourceusage in Illinois.

Illinois Digital OrthophotoQuadrangles
Some DOQs available for free download.

Digital Illinois Historical AerialPhotography
Scans of pre-1942 photographs. State coverage not yet completed.

Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
Includes links to 1998-2011 quarter quads and orthophotos

Other Aerial Photo Web Resources

Aerial Photography Field Office, USDA (Salt Lake City)
Sells photography flown by USDA agencies from 1955 to the present including NHAP and NAPP.Order prints directly from office; order forms, and pricing information available at site. To viewtheir catalog, click “Imagery Products” under “Browse by Subject,” then select “Imagery Catalogs”on the left. You can then select the catalog you want.

Cartographic Archivesand Architectural Division, National Archives and Records Administration
Holds pre-1955 USDA photography plus early photographs from other Federal agencies andphotography taken during World War I and II. Users must consult with Archive staff to determinematerial availability then order reproductions through private vendors.

EROS Data Center (Sioux Falls, SD)
Houses and distributes remotely-sensed data, NHAP and NAPP photography, and USGS digitalcartographic data. Use EarthExplorer, PhotoFinder, and MapFinder to determine productavailability.

USGS Photo Library Archive
A small sample of less than 10 percent of photographs from the USGS collection. Mostlyobliques.

The Remote Sensing Core Curriculum
Resources on remote sensing for K–12 teachers. Sponsored by NASA, The National Center forGeographic Information and Analysis, and International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing .

USGS air photo information
Includes fact sheets, FAQs, and sample photographs

USGS air photos and topographic maps. Sponsored by Microsoft.