Geographic imagery offers value to fields as diverse as agriculture, archeology, ecology, forestry, geology, geography, oceanography, meteorology, public policy, real estate, security and intelligence, sociology, urban and regional planning, and others. Need to request imagery?

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Aerial Photography

Geographic imagery in the form of aerial-flown photographs lend significant value to both historic and contemporary research applications.

3D Explorer

Use the 3D Explorer application to browse our collection of aerial photographs. The Map and Geospatial Hub boasts a collection of approximately 20,000 aerial photos, from across the world. The bulk of our aerial photo collections cover the entire state of Arizona, with a heavy emphasis on the greater Phoenix metropolitan region. You can use keywords such as "aerial" or "orthophoto" for simple searches, or apply additional filters using the advanced search function. The 3D Explorer will identify and visualize the location of the item(s) you're looking for, and provide item-level details, including options for in-person or digital access (when available).

A historic aerial Photograph of US60 near the state fairgrounds in Phoenix ADOT Highways

Imagery of highways in Arizona, by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

• Geographic Coverage: AZ ADOT Highways Aerial Photos spatial index
• Time Range: 1959-1964
• Cartographic Scale: 1:24,000 (primarily)
• Availability: Scanned; Physicals in-house use only


A historic aerial photograph covering a portion of northern tempe. USDA Photomosaics

Photomosaics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

• Geographic Coverage: See USDA Arizona Photo Mosaic Index (1940-1964) web map index
• Time Range: 1940-1964
• Cartographic Scale: Primarily 1:20,000
• Availability: Scanned; Physicals are in-house use only


A historic aerial photograph covering a portion of the salt river valley from the 1930's. Soil Conservation Service

Imagery produced by the Fairchild Aerial Company in collaboration with the Soil Conservation Service.

• Geographic Coverage: See AZ Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Aerial Photos index
• Time Range: 1935-1937, 1951
• Cartographic Scale: 1:62,500 (15’ USGS topographic map grid)
•  Availability: Scanned; Physicals are in-house use only


An aerial photograph from the 1970's covering the western portion of Sky Harbor and I-10 USGS Orthophotoquads

Imagery corrected for distortion caused by camera tilt, from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

• Geographic Coverage: See AZ USGS Orthophotos index
• Time Range: 1971-1976
• Cartographic Scale: 1:24,000 (7.5’ USGS topographic map grid)
• Availability: Not yet scanned; Physicals are in-house use only


An aerial photograph showing a portion of Phoenix from 1972 Metro Phoenix Fairchild Aerial Photographs

Aerial photographs of central Maricopa County, by Fairchild Aeromaps:

• Geographic coverage: See Central Maricopa County Fairchild Aerials index
• Year: 1972
• Cartographic scale: 1:24,000
• Availability: Scanned; Physicals are in-house use only


A historic aerial photograph from the mid-twentieth century showing a canyon in northern Arizona Navajo Project Aerial Photographs

Imagery of northeastern Arizona from the Navajo Project.

• Geographic Coverage: See Navajo Project Aerial Photos index
• Time Range: 1936-1951
• Cartographic Scale: Varies, 1:20,000 - 1:30,000
• Availability: Not yet scanned; Physicals are in-house use only


An aerial photograph of Sky Harbor dating between the 1970s and 1980s. Federal Single Frame Photos

Imagery acquired by various Federal agencies.

• Geographic Coverage: Portions of Arizona
• Time Range: 1945-1982
• Cartographic Scale: Varies
• Availability: Not yet scanned; Physicals are in-house use only
• Outside Resources: USGS EarthExplorer

Multiple private company aerial photograph booklets Private Companies

Photo atlases and real estate photo books produced by various private mapping firms.

• Geographic Coverage: Greater Phoenix area and Tucson, AZ
• Time Range: 1968-2011
• Cartographic Scale: Varies
• Availability: Not scanned, under copyright; Physicals are in-house use only


Satellite Imagery

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Geographic imagery derived from satellites are valuable for a wide variety of research applications.

The Map and Geospatial Hub is here to guide you to the appropriate imagery data to suit your research needs. Below are some of the more popular, and free, satellite remote sensing imagery products available.