MIL Services for Remote Users

Because aerial photography and other remote sensing imagery is of high value to the commercial, government, and non-profit sectors of the state, our collections are in high demand. MIL does not receive state funding to support this sort of public access to our imagery collections, therefore we have instituted fees to recover the costs of providing access and ensuring that the collection remains available to the students and researchers of the UC as well as the general public. This page outlines services available based on these fees.  Fees for access to the imagery collection are charged to those persons not performing University of California (UC) related research.

Research and Reproduction

MIL is happy to share access to our imagery collections with the entire California community. Our aerial photography is useful for hazard analysis, land-use planning, development disputes, and NEPA-required Environmental Site Assessments. See examples of our airphotos.

  • Fees paid for searches and reproductions will not be refunded.
  • A site is defined as a single point location (such as an address or building), or a single continuous feature (such as a beach or a slough) 60 square miles or less in size; as a comparison this is approximately the size of the area covered by one USGS 1:24,000 quadrangle.


  • Upon request, MIL staff will identify flights that contain airphotos held in our collections that are of interest to you. The end result of this research is a written report that lists what images are available for your specified location.
  • The fee for this report is $90. If staff determines that research will require more than 2 hours of research time, and additional fee of $45 per hour will be charged. MIL will give you an estimate of the time required to complete your search based on your parameters.
    • MIL staff will identify individual frames for up to 3 flights at a reduced rate of $45.00 per site. Please use our county catalog to provide flight ID, date of flight, and the scale in addition to your site location. Please note that the descriptions of each flight's coverage are necessarily brief--choose your flights carefully.
  • Please note that the department's first priority remains the UC academic community. Remote searches are performed on a time-available basis.
  • Making requests:
    • MIL must have proof of payment pending before a search is begun.   A faxed or scanned-and-emailed copy of your check (made out to U.C. Regents) will enable staff to begin the search, but search results will not be released until the check is received. A company purchase order number that the library can bill against as payment of the search fee is also acceptable.
    • Complete the Non-UC Imagery Search Form
      • PDF version (you must have Acrobat Pro to save changes to this form)
    • Submit by mail, milrefdesk [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (email), or fax (805) 893-8799
    • Include a map with your site clearly outlined.
    • Upon completion of the search, MIL will mail, email or fax to you a listing of the flights and frames covering your site.
      • You are welcome to come to MIL in person and view these frames; call in advance to schedule an appointment. One viewing is included in a search fee payment; there is a $10 re-look fee each additional day air photos are viewed.
  • Conducting a search does not guarantee that there will be coverage of that area, however these searches will be billed as normal.  Users may wish to consult our catalog of flights and our online indexesbefore making requests.
    • If specific frames of interest have been identified using our on-line indexes you may request reproductions without conducting a search. Online indexes do not guarantee that MIL has complete holdings of each flight. MIL is not responsible for your incorrect choice of frames.


After receiving your search report, you may request reproductions of images.

MIL makes a good faith effort to only duplicate materials for which it has a right to do so, either through fair use, ownership of copyright, prior agreements, or because the materials are in the Public Domain. All digital images remain the property of the University of California. They are delivered to you with a one-time-use-only license.

Other Services

  • MIL will issue letters of certification, varifying that reproductions are accurate depictions of materials in our collection, for $45.