The significant holdings of aerial photography at the Map and Imagery Laboratory (MIL) are listed below. Click on a name for further information about the holding. Consult our Aerial Photography Catalog for detailed information about the flights and photography in MIL’s collection.

  • Aerial Map Industries (AMI) - AMI operated out of Santa Ana and was purchased by Landiscor Aerial Information in the late 1990s. MIL purchased the collection in 2002. AMI photography dates from 1947 to 1997, and covers Los Angeles and five other southern California counties.
  • Cartwright Aerial Surveys (CAS) - The CAS collection was given to MIL by the California State Library, who received it from Cartwright when the company was sold to Geonex. This collection includes over 100 flights from the late 1950s to early 1980s, and is particularly useful for coverage of northern and central California cities and counties.
  • CH2M Hill (Vestra Resources) - This collection of "rice photos" was donated to MIL in 2007 by Vestra Resources, who acquired the collection from CH2M Hill. The dates of photography range from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, and the coverage is concentrated in the rice growing regions of the northern Central Valley of California, hence our colloquial name for the photos.
  • Citipix (HM) - Hauts-Monts Inc. ("HM" - an aerial photography company based in Quebec, Canada) produced this collection of natural color photography of several US metropolitan areas between 1999 to 2002, at a scale of 1:10,800. MIL received the 822 rolls (ca. 370,000 photographs) of original color negatives from Pacific Western Aerial Surveys in 2008.
  • Eagle Aerial Imaging - This Costa Mesa based company donated its film archive to MIL in 2013, which has significantly increased our holdings of aerial photography of southern California for the years 1989 to 2011.
  • Fairchild Aerial Surveys (FAS) - Perhaps the most significant of our aerial photography holdings, this collection contains the earliest (1927) photography held by MIL, and makes up the bulk of the collection covering southern and central California from the late 1920s to the 1950s. The FAS collection also includes photography from early flights of the eastern seaboard states.
  • Golden State Aerial Surveys - This collection contains photography from more than 150 small flights, primarily covering areas of San Luis Obispo County, with dates ranging from the late 1980s to mid-1990s.
  • Mark Hurd Aerial Surveys - The Mark Hurd collection consists primarily of large scale and site-specific photography covering the tri-county area of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. There is photography from more than 1500 flights, which also includes some coverage of other California counties, a few other (mainly western) US states, and a couple of international areas (e.g. Guatemala).
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) -
  • National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) - This collection is from the USGS, and consists of three sets of photographs captured between 1987 and 2007, at a scale of 1:40,000, and centered over the quarters of USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles. The NAPP photography held by MIL covers most of California, though coverage varies for each of the three sets: NAPP, NAPP-2C, and NAPP-3C.
  • Pacific Air Industries (PAI) - The PAI photography came to MIL in 1986 as part of a gift from the Teledyne Foundation. This collection consists of several hundred flights, primarily of areas in southern California, from 1948 to 1967. Many of the flights are large scale (greater than 1:10,000) and cover small areas.
  • Pacific Western Aerial Surveys - This is a local company that has been capturing aerial photography of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties since 1970. The majority of this collection consists of color prints and/or positive transparencies from 1971 to 2010, at scales of 1:24,000 or larger.
  • Santa Barbara County Flood Control (SBFlood) - This collection was donated to MIL in 2012 by the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District. Most flight IDs from this collection have the suffix “SBFlood”. The photography dates from 1938 to 2008, is primarily at scales larger than 1:20,000, and covers flood-prone areas of Santa Barbara county as well as the aftermath of some wildfires.
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS) - Aerial photography from the USGS in MIL's collection includes imagery from the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP), and several other projects covering most of the state of California, and dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) -
  • Watson Photo Studios - This small collection of historical imagery of areas in Los Angeles and surrounding counties dates back to the 1930s, and came to MIL as part of the gift from the Teledyne Foundation in 1986.