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Locating aerial photographs

Digital aerial photographs  Print aerial photographs  Major sets of aerial photographs  Purchasing aerial photographs


Aerial photographs are taken by optical cameras, generally from fixed-wing aircraft. Satellite images, photograph-like images produced from scanners, detectors or sensors mounted in space satellites, are not included here. The collection of aerial photographs is generally limited geographically to Arizona. Many of the aerial photograph sets will be found in Special Collections. Aerial photos are reserved for building use only.

Digital aerial photographs

EarthExplorer: Download DOQQs, DRGs, DEMs, and satellite imagery (various Landsat missions and others).

U.S. Dept of Agriculture Geospatial Data Gateway: Download NAIP imagery.

Campus Ortho Imagery: Includes orthophotos of campus from 1996, 2001, and 2005 from UA Facilities and Planning as part of the University's Enterprise Geographic Information Systems.

TerraServer: View aerial photographs.

PAG Orthophotography and LiDAR Imagery Data 1998-2011: Provides access to orthophotography data from 1998-2011 and LiDAR data from 2005-2011 for Pima County by the Pima Association of Governments.

Print aerial photographs

To locate aerial photographs in the library, look in the catalog -- under the geographic area followed by the phrase "Aerial Photographs"; for example: "Arizona - Aerial Photographs".

Major sets of aerial photographs in the collection

Tucson and Pima County:

Tucson and Eastern Pima County, Arizona Aerial Photography. (1963-64). Phoenix: Aerial Photo, 1963-1964, photos 50 x 50 cm. 

Tucson and portions of Pima County, Arizona Aerial Photography. (1960). Phoenix: Arizona Highway Dept., 1960, 23 x 23 cm. Scale 1:24,000. 

Greater Tucson Area Aerial Photography. (1967) Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1967, photos 48 x 62 cm. Scale 1:4800.

Tucson and eastern Pima County, Arizona Aerial Photographs. (1967) Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1967, photos 23 x 23 cm. Scale 1:9600.

Tucson and region aerial photographs (1969). Cooper Aerial Survey.  Special Collections Oversize photo file.

Tucson and Vicinity Aerial Photography. (1974) Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1974, 76 x 76 cm. Scale ca. 1:20,400.

Tucson Aerial Photo Coverage. (1978) Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1978, 76 x 76 cm. Scale ca. 1:20,000.

Aerial Photo Enlargement, University of Arizona. Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1979, 2 sections each 55x105 cm. Scale ca. 1:1,200.

Tucson Aerial Photos: Inner-Metro Area Set (1979-1980).
Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1980, 4 vols., photos 26x30 cm. Scale 1:12,000.

Tucson Aerial Photo Coverage. (1980) Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1980, 76 x 76 cm. Scale ca. 1:4800.

Tucson General Coverage 1:24,000. Tucson: Cooper Aerial, 1987, 5 vols., photos 26x30 cm. Scale 1:24,000.

Tucson, Arizona. Date Flown: 1948. Los Angeles: Fairchild Aerial Surveys, 1948, 1 photo 56x56 cm. Scale 1:7,200.

Photo Atlas: Tucson, Arizona. San Antonio, TX: International Aerial Mapping, 1971, 4 photos 228x163 cm. Scale 1:15,840.

Tucson 1990-91. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Photos of Arizona, 1990.  Scale 1:14,400.

Tucson 1993-94. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Photos of Arizona, 1993. Scale 1:14,400.

Tucson 1995. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Information, 1995. Scale 1:14,400.

Tucson 1996-1997. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Information, 1997.  Scale 1:14,400.

Tucson 1999. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Information, 1999.  Scale 1:14,400.

Tucson 2001. Phoenix: Landiscor Aerial Information, 2001. Scale 1:14,400.

City of Tucson and portion of Pima County Aerial Photography. (1961) Tucson: Maddock and Associates, 1961, photos 23 x 23 cm. Scale 1:21,600.

Aerial Photo Guide: Tucson & Vicinity. Tucson: McLain Harbers, 1986, 234 p., photos 31x31 cm. Scale 1:18,100.

Gemini Photomap of the Tucson, Arizona Vicinity. Washington, DC: U.S. Geological Survey, 1965, 1 photo 46x46 cm. Scale 1:150,000.

National High Altitude Program: Pima County. Reston, Va.: U.S. Geological Survey, 1983-1984, 2 vols. Scale 1:80,000.


Aerial Photographs of the San Carlos Indian Reservation, Arizona. Toronto: Hunting, 1959, 804 photos 25x25 cm. Scale 1:20,000.

Aerial Photographs of the Papago Indian Reservation, Arizona. Long Beach, CA: Pacific Air Industries, 196-?, 13,700 photos 26x23 cm. Scale 1:10,000.

7.5' Series Orthophotoquad; Arizona. Washington, DC: U.S. Geological Survey, 1971- , app. 1,900 photos 58x49 cm. Scale 1:24,000.  Each photo has name corresponding to USGS topographic quadrangle.

Purchasing aerial photographs

Cooper Aerial Survey Company: Local office is located at 1692 W. Grant Rd., Tucson, AZ 85705; phone (520) 884-7580.  Aerial photo coverage of the Tucson area and other parts of southern Arizona are available.

EarthExplorer: Use to search, preview, and download medium-resolution digital files at no cost. High-resolution imagery will need to ordered through EarthExplorer. Includes both aerial photography and satellite imagery from EROS. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Farm Service Agency, Aerial Photography Field Office: Digital copies and contact prints 10x10 inches and enlargements are available from 1955 to the present. This is the primary source for aerial photo coverage for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U.S. National Archives, Center for Cartographic and Architectural Archives, email:; 8th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20408; phone (202) 523-3006. Copies of aerial photos taken before 1941 for most government agencies are available here. 

Last modified: August 5, 2016