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.
Aerial Photography and other remote sensing data
The imagery collection of about 4 million items is composed of 2.8 million aerial photographs and 1.2 million Landsat MSS satellite images, with the latter being world archival coverage for the time period 1972-1978. 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. However:
- Aerial Photography Tools include our AP Flights catalog, lists of frequently requested photos, and a variety of finding aids that will help you to identify photographs to help you with your work. All imagery is available for inspection here in MIL, but appointments are required for detailed research. This service is free to UCSB researchers and students. Various fees may apply to community users.
- The Aerial Imagery Research Services offers research services that allow us to do the work for you and deliver the results electronically.
- Frequently Requested Aerial Photographs
We have pre-selected various 'flights' for densely populated areas of the state that are of frequent interest. If you are a scholar doing change analysis in California or in private industry conducting Environmental Site Assessments, these lists will show a decade-by-decade snapshots of the state:
The map collection of about 500,000 sheets is principally medium and large-scale topographic sheets of physical science data. A collection of more than 5,000 atlases and reference books rounds out the map collection. While the book collection is completely cataloged, only 60% of the map collection is cataloged. To search the maps and books holdings, use the Library Catalog. If you don't find the items you're looking for, send email with your request to the milrefdesk [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (MIL reference staff).
- Ready Reference Aids for Local Maps
- Topographic Maps of Foreign Countries
We collect as many medium- and large-scale topographic maps as feasible. A PDF list of foreign topographic maps is available. We have also scanned all of the indexes to these sets and created a set of web pages for them. (Please note: there are a few sets that do not have indexes, therefore only appear on the PDF--not the web pages.)
- USGS Topographic Maps of California
The digital data collection is 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.
- Digital Data Access and Procedures
- DRGs, DOQQs, Maya Forest data
- Note: The NGDA archives are not currently accessible to the public.