Our aerial photography collection is arranged by flight.  A flight is a discrete collection of images, typically gathered by a single aircraft in one day, and is given a unique code called a flight ID.  Each flight that is available for research has a database record describing the geographic extent of the flight, the parameters of how the images were created (altitude of aircraft, scale of the resulting images), the formats that we have in the collection (film vs. print; color vs. black & white), and other metadata for the flight.  On most of our finding aids, clicking on a flight ID will show you a detailed description of that flight, along with a link to a coverage map (a graphical index) when one is available.  Flight IDs typically start with a producer code

When locating aerial photography, it is helpful to have a map outlining your area of interest (AOI).  You will also want to determine the scale and dates of imagery you need.  For help determining the most useful scale, visit our scale explanatory page.  If you are looking for specific imagery characteristics, such as oblique or color infrared photos, be sure to read the flight record carefully.  This information is found under “physical details.”  If stereo pairs are required, look for an overlap of 60%.

Click on the following links for more information about parts of our collection before you search our Flight Catalog.

Scanned Air Photo Indexes

Direct access to the web folders where we store index maps as JPEGs and PDFs. Arranged by flight code.

Flight Codes

Every photograph in the collection is part of a flight. We use flight codes to name scanned photos as well as group them together on the shelf.

USDA County Codes

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) flights are signified by a 3-letter code for each county.

Fairchild Flights from Whittier College

In addition to the Fairchild Aerial Surveys (FAS) flights we acquired from Teledyne, a list of FAS flights acquired from Whittier College in 2012 can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet. Descriptions of the areas covered are included for each flight.

Mark Hurd Flights

A list of Mark Hurd flights including descriptions of the location covered. This list includes all uncatalogued Mark Hurd flights.