Minnesota Aerial Photography

Free Historical Aerial Photos

Its 2019 and I’m sure you’re familiar with Google Earth and Google Maps.  You’ve probably already looked at a satellite photo of your house and neighborhood but did you know you can get historical aerial photos for free in many areas?  It is like looking bad in time. If you have any interest in history, these photos can be a fantastic research tool, plus its just fun to see what life was like bad in the day.

Many of these photo databases go back to the 1930s and were taken from manned aircraft using film!!!  During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which periodically acquired nationwide aerial photographs by county. These aerial photographs were originally used by the USDA-AAA to assess the nation's agricultural lands and served as the basis for the national soil surveys.   Since then the state and local governments have continued to build the historical database.

These photos are truly a window to the past.  Below is a list of universities, institutions and agencies in the Midwest that provide a free historical aerial photo directory.  Enjoy!


University of Minnesota    


State Cartographer’s Office University of Wisconsin-Madison  


IOWA Department of Natural Resources      


Illinois Geospatial Data Clearninghouse  


Indiana Geological & Water Survey Indiana University    

North Dakota  

North Dakota Historical Photography Map Service

INFO@BLIMPGUY.COM                    952-882-8570

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