MIL's collections of maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery and other spatial data exceed 5 million information objects. As of 1992, MIL was ranked as the number one spatial data collection in the top 100 members of the Association of Research Libraries. According to the 2006 Guide to US Map Sources, MIL is the third largest academic map collection in the country.  MIL also has access to the map collections of Stanford University and the other UC map libraries.

Aerial Photography and other remote sensing data

The imagery collection is composed of 2.3 million aerial photographs and an unknown amount of satellite images stored as part of the legacy Alexandria Digital Library collections. New to aerial imagery? Check out our aerial photography tools to learn how to find flights covering your area of interest and read indexes.  We also have a page that describes major portions of the collection.

Air photo research is labor-intensive. Many images have been pre-scanned for your convenience, but an effective delivery mechanism has yet to be developed.


  • Frequently Requested Aerial Photographs
    Flights for densely populated areas of the state that are of frequent interest.  These lists will help you produce a decade-by-decade snapshots of the state:


With about 500,000 sheets, the map collection is one of the largest in the state.  In addition to a comprehensive collection of materials for Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties, we also specialize in foreign medium- and large- scale topographic maps.

Digital Data

The digital data collections are growing at about one terabyte per year and is composed predominantly of physical sciences datasets, satellite imagery, and digital mapping data of the United States and other Earth locations.  Thousands of scanned aerial photographs are also part of this collection.

Special Online Collections