University of Illinois Library

1408 W. Gregory Drive


Urbana, IL, 61801


Aerial Photos Project Overview

Aerial photographs were the focus of a joint pilot project of the Map and Geography Library, the University Library’s Digital Services and Development Unit, and the Geographic Modeling Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

The goals of this project were two-fold:

Based on benchmarks previously established by the Map and Geography Library, the Illinois State Geological Survey, and Scantech Color Systems, Inc., of Champaign, the pilot worked toward developing protocols and an interface to make scanned photography of Illinois flown between 1935 and 1955 available through the Web. Visitors are now able to view JPG image surrogates resized from archival TIFFs which were produced by scanning the photographs at approximately 720 dpi.

By the end of 1997 a test database of 270 photographs flown in 1939 and 1954 of central Will County became available for access and evaluative purposes. The pilot project was being supported by the Illinois State Library, and Scantech Color Systems, Inc. of Champaign, Illinois. During the summer of 1998, the project was expanded to cover a wider area, including portions of Champaign, Cook, Fulton, Mason, and Peoria counties. Also, the interface was redesigned to allow more precise searching.