Aerial Maps

Aerial Maps

There are very few collections of aerial maps available in Treasure Valley libraries.  Albertsons Library at Boise State University has a collection of displayed aerial maps. The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho provides aerial maps of Ada County by Section, Township, and Range, as well as bikeway maps for Ada County.

The Special Collections Department of Boise State University's Albertson's Library  has aerial photos of Idaho for the years 1938-1971. A range and township index is also available.

Most aerial maps are available from federal government agencies or commercial photographers.  Commercial photographers can be found in the yellow pages of the local phone directory under Aerial Applicators. Links to some federal government agency's websites are provided below.

Aerial Photography Field Office
United States Department of Agriculture

The Aerial Photography Field Office, Farm Service Agency is the primary source of aerial imagery for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over 10,000,000 images are kept at the APFO, dating from 1955 through the present.

The Forest Service is one of six Federal agencies that serve on the steering committee of the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) administered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This program was established to coordinate the acquisition of aerial photography over the United States every 5 years. The Forest Service also owns and operates aircraft, cameras, and sensor systems to acquire information for program activities with critical specifications for resource protection and monitoring. 

FSA Aerial Photography Field Office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Sales Branch
2222 West 2300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84119-2020
Tel: 801-975-3500
Fax: 801-975-3532
Email (Internet):

National Aerial Photography Program
United States Geological Survey (USGS)

The National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) program was initiated in 1980 and coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to acquire aerial photography of the 48 conterminous states every five years. In 1987 the program name was changed to the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) in recognition of modifications in the user requirements and flight specifications.

While it was the intent of both the NHAP and NAPP programs to acquire complete coverage of the conterminous United States every five years, that has varied somewhat due to budgetary constraints. Nevertheless, these programs do provide nearly complete coverage of the entire United States on a fairly regular basis. The next cycle of NAPP coverage is planned for 1997 - 2003.

Idaho has been photographed for this project in 1987, 1992 and is scheduled again for 2003.

Check the NAPP website for more details on this program.

You may search for USGS National Aerial Photography Program Photos by using their Photofinder search tool.

Contact Information for the FSA Aerial Photography Field Office is:

Aerial maps are photographs more than maps, but are used extensively by cartographers in creating most types of land maps.  They are made by photographing areas of land section by section from airplanes.  The resulting photographs are corrected to eliminate distortion, camera tilt and optical effects created by the land itself.

Last updated: October 25, 2012 - 12:45pm by farrit