Aerial Imagery Research Service (AIRS)

Go directly to the AIRS website.

If you are performing UC related research, please see our Research Services page for access to our aerial photography collection.

The Map & Imagery Laboratory (MIL) contains the most comprehensive collection of aerial photographs of California that is known to exist. The Aerial Imagery Research Service (AIRS) provides access to, and reproductions of historic aerial photography for commercial and non-University of California (UC) sponsored research. 

MIL receives no funding for services to persons not affiliated with the University of California, or for non-UC work done by persons who are students, faculty or staff of the University of California. Therefore, we have implemented fees to cover the cost of staff time and overheads, including the maintenance and purchase of collections and equipment. Access to and use of digital copies of our imagery are subject to our license agreement, unless specified otherwise. To submit a request for imagery research, please complete an AIRS Research Request form and send it to airs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu with a map showing your Area of Interest (AOI).


Commercial Research Options

  • Decade Research Package (Phase 1 ESA): $30 processing/research fee plus $10 per image. A typical package includes 8 images - one photo per decade, at scales of 1:40,000 or larger, scanned at 600 ppi, and centered and cropped around your AOI, for a total fee of $110. View a sample package.
  • Custom Research $45 per hour.  A customized report listing and describing the imagery available in the collection that covers your AOI, based on the parameters you specify on the request form.  Most custom research requests take 2 hours to complete for a typical fee of $90.
  • On-site Research $65 fee for research assistance for one AOI (does not include imagery reproductions).
    Visit our facility and receive professional assistance identifying imagery that suits your specific needs. By appointment only.
  • Air Photo Viewing $30 fee to view pre-selected aerial photography for one AOI (does not include imagery reproductions).
    You may view physical or scanned imagery on-site. By appointment only.
  • Reproduction Requests
    Already know what you are looking for?  You may order digital copies of aerial photos by submitting an Imagery Request Form. Fees are $10 for transaction processing plus imagery reproduction costs.

For more information about our fees, please see our complete price list.

Payment information: we will send a bill for services and/or reproduction fees once an order is complete. Fees can be paid by cash, check, or wire transfer.

Please call 805-893-3948 or email airs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu with questions.


Other Services

  • AIRS can issue letters of certification, verifying that imagery reproductions are accurate depictions of materials in our collection, for $45.
  • Publication licenses for some materials are available. Please inquire.
  • Aerial Photography Reproductions: Photographic reproduction, higher resolution scanning, and georeferenced imagery are also available. Please inquire.
  • Map scanning: The Library's Digitization Center will scan maps upon request.