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Geospatial Data Technology: Air Photos

Use this guide to locate data for and resources about surveying and geomatics

University of Calgary Air Photo Collection

The University of Calgary’s air photo collection includes approximately one million air photos dating from the 1920's.  The collection is focused primarily on Calgary and Southern Alberta.  Most images are available in hardcopy only however, some of the images dating from the 1960s and earlier have been digitized.  The digitized collection can be searched

Hard-copy images are available at the UofC’s Spatial and Numeric Data Services office, located on the 4th floor of the UofC’s Taylor Family Digital Library.  Please email your request in advance so that staff can arrange to have the items requested retrieved from the collection.  Requests should be emailed to:

To find air photos for a particular location:

  1. Determine the 1: 50K NTS map sheet number for your location. eg. SAIT is located within 82O01.  You can use this webmap as reference.
  2. Search your NTS location in the UofC’s air photo database.  You will get a list of airphoto sets related to your NTS sheet along with details including the flight year and the call number for the set. 

Digitized airphotos:  will be available online through the plotted flightline index. 

Hardcopy airphotos: Are found using the air photo set call number and by consulting the flight line maps.   

  1. View the flight line maps to find the image(s) that capture your location of interest.   The flightline maps describe details about the images in the set and usually include information such as the project name, date, flying height, roll number, etc.  They also show the flight lines as well as the photo number indicating the center of each point.  Make a note of the call number, flight line and photo number you are interested in so that you can email your request to

    For more information on how to access the UofC’s Airphoto collection, please refer to their Air Photo Search Guide.  You can also request help from the SAIT library by emailing

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