Historical Air Photo Index Map Viewer

The Historical Air Photo Index Map Viewer tool allows users to view British Columbia's original set of air photo flight indices, dating back to 1936.

Index maps may be viewed, printed and downloaded using the Historical Air Photo Index Map Viewer. The film roll and frame numbers for air photos can be extracted from the index maps. With this information, full-resolution air photo images can be purchased from the Base Map Online Store.

How to Use

  1. Download the Historical Air Photo Index Map Viewer (KML).
  2. Open the Historical Air Photo Index Map Viewer file in Google Earth.
  3. Use the Google Earth controls to zoom in on an area of interest.
  4. Click the map icon with a label that includes the year range of interest to view more information.
  5. Click the Show Map in Google Earth link to display the map as an overlay in Google Earth.
  6. Click the Download PDF link to view the map in a web browser window or in any PDF viewer. The Download PDF functionality requires that Google Earth be configured to open web pages in an external browser.
  7. To determine the actual year of photography for flight lines displayed on the index maps, click the Year/roll correlation listing link.
  8. To get more information on ordering historical air photos, click the Ordering historical airphotos link.
  9. To view and order air photos, click the Base Map Online Store link and enter the film roll and frame expression in the window.


  • If overlay layers are not displaying correctly in Google Earth, it could mean that your graphics card does not have enough on-board memory to support viewing overlays. Use the Download PDF link to view the map in a separate web browser window.
  • To make the underlying terrain more visible when viewing index maps as overlays in Google Earth, set the transparency slider for each layer between 30% and 50%. You will be able to see the map annotations and basic terrain features simultaneously.
  • See Air Photo Indices & Film Rolls for instructions on downloading additional indices and retrieving film roll and frame numbers from indices.

Allowable Reproduction

Air photo index maps are free for personal use, although they remain the copyrighted property of the Province of British Columbia. For commercial use, or for inclusion in published material, you will need to request permission from the Government of B.C.