Individual air photos are identified by Roll and Frame Number. 

Example BC photo number: BC1591-18
  • BC1591 is the roll number
  • 18 is the photo number
Example Federal photo number: A11342-41
  • A11342 is the roll number
  • 41 is the photo number

Finding & Requesting Air Photos in the GRW Library Air Photo Collection

Use the UNBC Airphoto Finder to search for air photos in the Geoffrey R. Weller Library airphoto collection.  The collection contains selected BC (1936-1997) and federal (1946-1979) air photos.

1963-1997 BC Air Photos and Federal Air Photos

  1. Go to the UNBC Airphoto Finder.
  2. Click the Zoom in by drawing a box tool and then draw a box on the map to zoom in to the desired area.  Repeat this step as necessary.
  3. Click on Draw Focus Area.
  4. Click on the map to form a search polygon.  Double click on the last point to close the polygon.
  5. Click on Query by Focus Area.
  6. A result screen will appear showing the search results.  Note that you may add photo centre points and photo polygons to the map.  Once photo polygons are added, you may also select a photo from the list and click on Highlight Selected to see that particular polygon.  Finally, you may export a CSV file of all or selected items from the result list.

1936-1962 BC Air Photos

  1. Use GeoBC's scanned BC airphoto index maps to determine what BC 1936-1962 airphotos were produced, and note any Roll and Frame Numbers of interest.  Important: This finding aid uses Google Earth.  If you do not have Google Earth loaded on your computer, the scanned ungeorectified historical index maps are available through GeoBC's FTP site.  Note that the index maps are organized by scale and NTS sheet number.
  2. Use the Search function in the UNBC Airphoto Finder to search by Roll and Frame Number.  Example of how to enter Roll Number: BC69. (BC must be capitalized.)  Important: Searching by year will not work for the 1936-1962 BC photos, as this attribute information is not included in the UNBC Airphoto Finder for this date range.  Use GeoBC's Correlation of Film Roll Number to Year Taken document to determine the year of pre-1963 BC airphotos.

Requesting Air Photos in the GRW Library Air Photo Collection

  1. Go to the air photo request form.
  2. Fill out and submit the form, specifiying the desired photos.  Note that If you exported your Airphoto Finder search results as a CSV file, this file may be attached to the request form.

Accessing Other Air Photos

 British Columbia

  • Search GeoBC's Base Map Online Store to determine what other 1963-1997 air photos are available.  The Interlibrary Loan Department staff will do their best to bring these in for you if you contact them with a list of desired photos.
  • Use GeoBC's Airphoto Viewer to search for current air photos (1992 to present).  Includes links to low resolution photos.  Note that you must have Google Earth installed on your computer to use this application. 

 Federal (Natural Resources Canada)

Other Sources of Air Photo Information (links to UBC Geographic Information Centre page)