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GIS (Geographic Information Systems) & Remote Sensing: Air Photos

This guide covers resources and tools helpful for people interested in GIS & remote sensing.

For in-person or virtual reference assistance using the map and air photo collections, please schedule an appointment with a staff member or contact us at


The Earth Sciences & Map Library has over 80,000 images covering California and other selected areas. Historical coverage is available for some areas from 1931 to the present, with scales between 1:2,400 - 1:40,000. The majority of the collection is 9 x 9 inch contact prints with stereographic coverage.

The Library's collection emphasis is on San Francisco and the East Bay; however, our collection responsibilities also include the nine counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay and northern California, exclusive of the Central Valley. For areas of the state not collected by Berkeley, cooperative collection responsibilities are in place with the map collections of other UC campuses and Stanford University.

Find air photos in the UC Berkeley Library

Start your search with the:

Many of our air photo sets have been digitized and are available through our Library's Digital Map & Air Photo Collections.

You may want to refer to the air photo index to find out which frames cover your area of interest:

Once you have found the air photo set that you need, search UC Library Search to find out which sheets the library owns. Search using the flight number, then click on View Holdings to see which frames the library holds.

You can also use UC Library Search for air photos covering areas outside of California. Include the term aerial photographs as well as place names. Example: taiwan aerial photographs

Other Sources for Air Photos

Air Photo Vendors

Air photo frames may be purchased from these vendors.

Remote Sensing


Listed below are some common resources for obtaining satellite imagery. Visit the Library's Remote Sensing guide for more detailed information about the topic and data sources.