This database contains 96,510 individual photographs. Low-resolution JPEG images can be viewed online and high-resolution TIFF images can either be downloaded by the user or transferred to a user's portable drive by the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore (click the Help tab for more information).

Click on an individual photograph point on the map to show a popup containing basic metadata and a small preview image.

To search for photographs, users can create a search-bounding box by moving the map markers, by using the Draw Box, by entering latitude and longitude coordinates, or by typing in an address (street address, city, state) and region size. Enter additional search criteria to narrow your search.

Click on the Search button to display list of selected photographs.

Search by Region

NE Corner

SW Corner

Search by Address

Region Size (in miles):

Additional Criteria





This photograph list is from the most recent search. Results are sorted by year and project code and are shown in orange on the map. Click on the checkboxes to select photographs for viewing or downloading (red on the map).



    The UGS developed this search tool to easily access, view, and download aerial photographs. The entire collection consists of over 110,000 individual photographs from throughout the state, and various indexes, orthophotomaps, and related items. Aerial index sheet files may be available from the UGS. Historical 1936 to 1952 orthophotomaps may be viewed and downloaded from the Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC) on their ImageServer.

    Historical aerial photography is used in geologic, geotechnical, and environmental assessment and investigation projects; land-use planning; mining exploration; ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessments; projects documenting land-use, geomorphologic, geologic-hazard, and other changes that may have occurred in a particular area; and, as an historical archive.

    Some photographs were taken with low-sun-angle techniques (morning or evening) to highlight certain topographic features, and as a result, some of these frames contain significant areas of shadowing in mountainous regions.


    Metadata about the photographs comes from a variety of sources, including the original aerial project metadata, information available on each photograph, or other sources. All coordinate data are in geographic latitude and longitude, NAD83 datum.

    Some center-point coordinates have been determined manually, by comparing the center of the photograph (using the fiducial marks if available) to a map location. Since these center points are estimated, some undetermined positional error exists between the photograph center points and actual ground locations.

    Source Code Source Name
    John E. Welsh, Geologist
    AAA USDA, Agricultural Adjustment Administration
    AMS Army Map Service
    ASCS USDA, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service
    ASI Aerial Surveys LTD
    BLM Bureau of Land Management
    CSS USDA, Commodity Stabilization Service
    DMA Defense Mapping Agency
    FSA USDA, Farm Service Agency
    IANG Idaho Air National Guard
    IAS Intermountain Aerial Surveys
    ISI IntraSearch
    JAPE Jack Ammann Photogrammetric Engineers, Inc.
    KCC Kennecott Copper Company
    NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    NPS National Park Service
    OAS Olympus Aerial Surveys, Inc.
    PMA USDA, Production and Marketing Administration
    PMC Plateau Mining Company
    SCS USDA, Soil Conservation Service
    SLCO Salt Lake County
    SLCOPC Salt Lake County Planning Commission
    UDOT Utah Department of Transportation
    UDWR Utah Division of Water Resources
    UGS Utah Geological Survey
    UNK Unknown
    UPL Utah Power and Light Company
    USAF U.S. Air Force
    USBR U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
    USFS U.S. Forest Service
    USGS U.S. Geological Survey
    WAR War Department, U.S. Engineers Office

    Aerial Photograph Scanning

    Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) at the Utah State Prison, Draper, scanned the majority of photographs. UCI scanned paper photographs at resolutions of 600 or 800 dpi, and film photographs at 1200 dpi; all scans are available in 8-bit TIFF format (grayscale or color images) and as low-resolution 150 dpi JPEG preview images. TIFF images utilize lossless ZIP (deflate) compression to reduce data storage and transfer time.

    UCI scanned paper photographs with color-calibrated Epson 10000XL or 1640XL scanners, and scanned film photographs with a calibrated Creo EverSmart Select II scanner from either the original or duplicate films.

    The UGS converted negative films to positive images with CF Systems ColorPerfect filter for Adobe Photoshop software. Adobe RGB (1998) color space was used for color correction purposes. To preserve the original images, no other image enhancement was performed.

    Some photographs may be of poor quality due to poor quality materials that were available and scanned. Some of the photographs contain various markings from previous use. These markings may include alignment marks and lines, named geographic features, fault traces, and other features. None of these markings has been verified for accuracy either in location and/or classification; therefore, they should not be relied upon for any purpose.


    Although this product represents the work of professional scientists, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Utah Geological Survey, makes no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding its suitability for a particular use. The Utah Department of Natural Resources, Utah Geological Survey, shall not be liable under any circumstances for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages with respect to claims by users of this product. The Utah Geological Survey does not endorse any products or manufacturers. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, service, or company by trade name, trademark, or otherwise, does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Utah Geological Survey.

    This database contains several significant aerial photograph data sets (projects), including the earliest known aerial photographs of Utah and several special low-sun-angle data sets. While the database includes over 230 data sets, a brief description of significant data sets is provided below.

    1935 NAV - This 1:31,680-scale data set of the Navajo Indian Reservation (now Navajo Nation) is the earliest known aerial photograph data set in Utah.

    1937 AAH, AAJ-AAK, and AAL - These 1:20,000-scale data sets are the earliest known aerial photographs along the Wasatch Front.

    1953 AMS - This 1:63,630-scale (approximate) statewide data set was photographed between 1953 and 1955 for development of the Army Map Series topographic maps and includes the earliest, single-project, statewide coverage of Utah.

    1970 WF - This 1:5000, 1:6000 and 1:12,000-scale (depends on photograph) low-sun-angle data set along the Wasatch, West Valley, West Cache, and East Cache fault zones was photographed in the early 1970s for a fault mapping and hazard investigation, and includes some of the best pre-development aerial photographs taken of these fault zones.

    1972 UGS-I, 1972 USGS, and 1973 UGS - These three data sets provide complete coverage of the shoreline area of Great Salt Lake.

    1981 810941 - This 1:24,000-scale low-sun-angle data set along the Hurricane and Washington fault zones was photographed for a fault mapping and hazard investigation related to Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service) water storage projects, and includes some of the best pre-development aerial photographs taken of these fault zones.

    Web browsers and software needed to use this database

    Firefox 9 or Google Chrome 10 or greater are recommended for best web browser performance. Current versions of Adobe Flash Player and Java browser plugins are required

    How to Select Aerial Photographs

    1. Go to Search tab.
    2. Create a bounding box to select the aerial photographs within that area.
      Four ways to create a bounding box:
      • Drag the map markers at the bounding box corners with the hand cursor to move or resize the box,
      • Draw a new bounding box using Draw Box on map and the crosshair cursor,
      • Under Search by Region, enter latitude and longitude coordinates for the northeast and southwest corners of the bounding box in decimal degrees (for Utah, longitude should always be entered as a negative number), or
      • Under Search by Address, enter a physical street address including city and state and the search distance from the address as the width and height (in miles). Press Enter or click Go to Address to create bounding box.
    3. Narrow down your search results by entering data in the Additional Criteria section.
      • Year: range of years that the aerial photographs were taken.
      • Scale: range of map scales associated with the aerial photographs.
      • Project Code: project code associated with the aerial photograph data set.
      • Search Limit: limit the number of results; searching for "All" may return more than 1000 photographs and make your browser unresponsive (be patient).
    4. Click on the Search button to display a list of the selected photographs under Results tab. Photographs are grouped by project data sets. Click on an individual data set to a list of individual photographs.

    Most photograph filenames use the following format with no spaces and all upper case characters: source code, underscore, roll number, dash, and frame number (example: AAH_1B-101). An added underscore and letter at the end of the filename indicate duplicate photographs (AAH_1B-101_A). Some photographs use a different naming format if their project data set uses non-standard identification.

    How to View and Download Aerial Photographs

    Low-resolution (150 dpi) JPEG images can be viewed online and low-resolution JPEG and high- resolution (600, 800, or 1200 dpi) TIFF images of the aerial photographs can be downloaded. Photographs from the most recent search will be displayed under Results tab. Click on an individual data set to see a list of individual photographs. All photographs in the results list can be selected (Select All) or they can be selected individually or by data set.

    View Images
    Click the Preview Photos button to open the online viewer to see each image separately. Use right or left arrows to view next or previous images. Click on an individual photograph point on the map to show a popup containing basic metadata and a small preview image.

    Download Images
    Download individual photographs from points on the map:
    Click on an individual photograph point on the map to show a popup containing basic metadata and a small preview JPEG image. Click on the image to either open the JPEG image in a graphics software program or save the JPEG image to your computer.

    Download individual or multiple photographs with the Download Photos button on the Results Tab:
    Click the Download Photos button to download JPEG and full-resolution TIFF image files to a folder chosen by the user, with individual photographs saved to subfolders named by project year and source code. A progress bar is shown for each file as the download progresses.

    Download individual photographs with the Preview Photos online viewer:
    Click the Download button above image to either open the JPEG image in your graphics software or save the JPEG image to your computer.

    How to Order High-Resolution Aerial Photographs

    The high-resolution TIFF images (TIFF files with ZIP compression) are also available from the Natural Resources Map and Bookstore for transfer to a user's portable hard drive or flash drive. An initial minimum fee of $10.00 will be charged for the first 15 minutes, with an additional $5.00 charge for every extra 15-minute segment.

    1. Select photographs from the list under the Results tab. All photographs in the results list can be selected (Select All) or they can be selected individually or by data set.
    2. After clicking the Order Photos button and then the OK button on the following popup text box, an IMX file containing your photograph list will be created. Save this file to a portable hard drive or flash drive that you bring to the Natural Resources Map and Bookstore.
    3. Bring your portable hard drive or flash drive to the Natural Resources Map and Bookstore during business hours (see below), and staff will transfer the TIFF files to your drive. The storage capacity of your drive must be large enough for your image(s) and must be free of viruses before you bring it to the Natural Resources Map and Bookstore. Large orders may require long transfer times, resulting in next-day pickup.

    Natural Resources Map and Bookstore
    1594 West North Temple
    Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

    Most graphics software can open TIFF images for viewing, image processing, and printing; however, specialized image software may be required to open larger images or TIFF files with ZIP compression. Current versions of Adobe Photoshop, Google Picasa, IrfanView, and Windows Photo Viewer (Windows 7) can open TIFF files with ZIP compression.

    How to Download Aerial Photograph Metadata

    Click the Download Metadata button on the Results tab to download metadata on selected data sets and/ or photographs in comma-separated value (CSV) format; if none are selected, data for all photographs in results list is downloaded. The CSV file format is supported by most spreadsheet software (such as Microsoft Excel). See the Info tab for additional metadata information.

    Click on an individual photograph on the map to display a popup containing basic metadata.

    How to View Table of Selected Aerial Photographs

    Click the Create PDF Report button to display the results list as a table in a PDF document. If no photographs are selected, data for all photographs in results list are added to table. Table headings include filename, flight line number, roll number, frame number, other ID, scale, photo date, scan resolution, latitude, and longitude.