Orthophotos of B.C.

Raw aerial photographs are often distorted due to aircraft tilt, camera perspective and uneven terrain. An orthophoto is a geometrically corrected aerial photograph that displays ground features in their true ground position with a constant scale throughout the image. This correction process is called orthorectification.

Orthophotos, if printed at scale or used in a Geographic Information System, allow for the direct measurement of distances, areas and positions. An orthophoto may serve as a base layer onto which other map information may be placed.

Product Details

All B.C. Government orthophotos are provided as uncompressed TIFF files in UTM projection, unless otherwise specified. Images are not available in tiled TIFF format.

Orthophotos are available for selected areas of British Columbia in black & white or colour. Most images have a pixel resolution of 1 metre, with some colour orthophotos available at 0.5 metre resolution.

Orthophotos from earlier than 1995 existed only as hardcopy photos or mylar overlays. These are not available in digital format.

Some areas of British Columbia, such as the northwest corner of the province, parts of Vancouver Island and parts of the South Coast, do not have orthophoto coverage. This is due to a lack of new aerial photography in these areas since digital orthophotos first began to be produced.

The date of photography used to create the B.C. Government's orthophotos are compiled in a variety of formats:


Specification Chart

Index grid

B.C. Geographic System (BCGS) 1:20,000

Geographic extent

Province of British Columbia

Compilation scale


Pixel size

0.5 and 1.0 metres









How to Acquire

Orthophotos can be ordered from the Base Map Online Store or opened in Google Earth:




Digital orthophoto BCGS 1:20K map sheet (50–100% coverage)

$200.00 each

Digital orthophoto BCGS partial 1:20K map sheet (Less than 50% coverage)

$100.00 each

Delivery Times


Delivery Time

Delivery Method

Digital orthophoto

3–5 business days, not including statutory holidays

Products supplied on CD, DVD or customer-supplied hard drive

Orthophoto Viewer

The Orthophoto Viewer is a Google Earth tool that allows users to view and order orthorectified aerial photographs of B.C.