Pacific Western Aerial Surveys (PWAS or PW for short) is a locally owned and operated company in Santa Barbara that has been capturing aerial photography of the tri-county area (Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo) since the early 1970s. PW has a long-standing relationship with MIL, and is the only photo lab that we send photography to for printed reproductions (more information is on our Reproductions Page).
PW holds the copyright to its imagery in our collection, which is available for viewing at MIL. The company generously approves reproductions in support of UC research, if requested in writing from PW. Users not conducting UC sponsored research are referred to PW to obtain reproductions of this imagery. Some of the PW imagery has also been provided to MIL as part of the SBFLOOD collection, which is available to all users.
Coverage of the PW photography is primarily of Santa Barbara/Goleta and surrounding areas, and the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria river valleys (particularly the photography associated with the SBFlood collection). There is a smaller collection of PW photography covering areas in Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. The dates of PW photography range from 1971 to 2010, and scales range from as large as 1:2,000 to 1:36,000, with the majority of photographs at scales of 1:24,000 or larger. The PW photography held at MIL consists primarily of color prints and/or cut frame positive transparencies. Some of the photographs from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s are black and white.