Map & Imagery Laboratory Services

The Map & Imagery Laboratory provides free reference service to all. UC students and staff doing UC research have access to a number of additional services for free.  Fees are charged for non-UC sponsored research and commercial use of our collections.

MIL is open for Monday through Thursday 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays until 5 pm.  During these times you can stop by to view maps, make arrangements to retrieve materials from storage, use our computer workstations to access restricted resources, and get help identifying useful data and tools for your projects.  You can also contact us via email at milrefdesk [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu or phone at (805) 893-2779.  

Research Assistance

Need help identifying relevant GIS data or printed maps for a project?  Ask MIL!  MIL has one of the nation's largest collections of spatial information ready for your use.  However, only about half of our collection has been cataloged. To get the most out of our collection, talk to MIL staff about the type of resources you are looking for.  MIL staff will help identify relevant maps, GIS data, aerial photographs and remote sensing imagery.  See our Collections page for information about our available resources.  

Assistance with GIS projects is available from MIL, as well as the Spatial@UCSB Help Desk.  The Library also hosts the UCSB Campus GIS email discussion list.

Aerial Photography Research

Appointments are required for on-site aerial photography research!

MIL has one of the largest collections of historic aerial photography in an academic library.  Commercial and community users will want to use the AIRS homepage for more information about accessing this collection.  We have a variety of free online tools available to identify aerial photography. MIL offers assistance to UC students and staff doing UC sponsored research at no charge. Commercial users may use our access tools but are required to pay fees for research assistance and reproductions.  For more information about aerial photography:


Reproductions of our materials are available; policies vary according to format, size and data source. Consult MIL staff for details if you do not find them here.

ESRI Software

ESRI's ArcGIS suite of mapping and spatial analysis software is available to all UCSB affiliates.  MIL administers UCSB's campus-wide ESRI ArcGIS site license.  There are a wide variety of GIS activities around campus

Instruction and Tours

Interested in bringing your class, group, or club into the Map & Imagery Laboratory?  We're happy to give tours and provide instruction to groups interested in our collections.  milrefdesk [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Contact MIL) to set up a tour.


Some MIL materials are circulated.  See our Circulation Policy page for details.

Computers in MIL

MIL has computers running ArcGIS 10.2.2 exclusively reserved for work on digital spatial data.  This resource is available free of charge to any UC-affiliated persons (faculty, staff, or enrolled student) working on UC-related research or class projects that utilize spatial data.  To ensure availability, make an appointment by contacting the milrefdesk [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (MIL reference desk).