Archived aerial photos being put online to facilitate greater analysis of growth

Ever wonder what your property looked like before it was developed? Ever need an historical aerial photo but weren’t sure where to find it? LINK-GIS is now your online go-to place for help.

NKAPC staff added a tool recently to the LINK-GIS website mapping service. The site’s GIS Viewer now includes a tool to view historical aerials from 1999, 2004, and 2007 in addition to those from 2010. Aerials from 1962, 1973, and 1989 will be uploaded and available soon.

Historical aerials provide windows into the past. Clues on how land was managed and how growth occurred in a community are often used by planners to predict how future land use should take form. Having a glimpse of the past helps unlock evidence to understand cultures and landscape challenges that have prompted changes in neighborhoods.

“Our goal is to serve up as many resources—both historical and current—on our website as possible,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, NKAPC’s deputy director for GIS administration. “Helping the public to understand the past through historical aerials and maps can empower decision makers and community leaders of the future. It’s important to know where we came from in order to know where we’re growing.”  

The historical aerials may be accessed by visiting To access the tutorial and video on how to use the historic image slider, click the ‘How to Find’ tab and choose LINK-GIS Map Viewer. An additional menu will appear to the side with more options; choose ‘Historic Image Slider.’ This will lead to step-by-step instructions on how to access and use the new Historic Image Slider.