Web Imagery Search Interface (WIMSI)

The Web Imagery Search Interface (WIMSI) enables users to find air photo or orthophoto imagery for specific locations in British Columbia.

Provide a film roll and frame number designation to locate an individual frame or even an entire film roll. Refine your search by:

  • Search radius
  • Range of years
  • Mapsheet number
  • Latitude & longitude coordinates
  • Civic address
  • Geographical feature name

Search results can be exported as:

  • KML, for use in Google Earth and other applications
  • CSV, for use in text editors, databases or spreadsheets

How to Use

  1. Open the Web Imagery Search Interface tool.
  2. Select the type of imagery you want to find by clicking Search Air Photos or Search Orthophotos. To find air photos from before 1963, click Search Air Photo Index Maps.
  3. Refine your search by selecting a tab: Geographic Name, Address, Latitude/Longitude, Mapsheet, or Roll and Frame (air photo searches only).
  4. Set a Search Radius between 1 and 10 kilometres. The resulting search will locate all images where the image centre falls within the search radius.
  5. Set Filter and Sort parameters to exclude unwanted results from your search. Sort results alphabetically by mapsheet position, or descending chronologically by year.
  6. Click a button to choose how you want your results returned. Search returns a table in the browser window. View in Google Earth dynamically creates a KML file of your search results. Export to Excel downloads a table of your results as a CSV file.
  7. Where available, view a low-resolution version of your selected image by clicking on the link in the Thumbnail Image column. The low-resolution images are free to download for personal use.
  8. Order high-resolution images from the Base Map Online Store.


  • If your search returns no images or fewer than preferred, try increasing the search radius or broadening the search filter parameters.
  • Some thumbnail images may appear to be upside-down due to aircraft flight patterns. If using Google Earth, rotate the map to match the orientation of the thumbnail image.
  • Not all air photos and orthophotos will have a low-resolution thumbnail image available.
  • To clear your search results from Google Earth, choose “No” when prompted to save any currently loaded KML layers, or delete the KML layer from the “My Places” folder.