Historical air photos

   / Historical air photos #1  


Super Member
Nov 25, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains CA, Southern OR
Branson 3725H Deere 5105
While looking for better air photos of my land I found this site that has historical air photos and lets you search them by location. NETRonline: Historic Aerials
I already knew some about the history of our place from printed accounts but that didn't say what they'd done to the land or where. And knowing something about how plant communities evolve over time gave me some idea which areas had been cleared in the past based on what's on there now, but not when.

The photos for my place go back to 1948 and it was really different then. The front 10 acres that's now trees and brush was totally cleared pasture. The old road that I'm trying to clear off now (of huge poison oak bushes) goes about where I thought it went. The series that covers my place has photos every 6-12 years. As I go forward in time I can see the brush colonize next to the roads first, then move across the pasture. At the same time the oldest brush gets replaced by trees.
   / Historical air photos #2  
I don't remember if I used the link you posted or another one, but I used one of these sites to look at where we used to live in FLA and they had photos of when the canals were being dug to creat the land for the development. It was interesting to look around our place here in NC before or town got "bigger" and see how the roads ran and which farms got flooded by the big lake that was built.

   / Historical air photos #3  
I love that site! They had photos of a piece of property we bought from the 50s. Clearly showed a pretty nice small working farm there. Pastures, fences, house, barn, pond. All totally gone now. Their prices to purchase nice .png files of the photos without any ad banner are quite reasonable. I bought the ones from 1950 and 1963.
   / Historical air photos #4  
That site only goes back to 1971 for my area. My county's GIS system goes back to 1939.