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GIS & Spatial Data: Alberta Historical Air Photo Mosaics

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and Spatial Data resources available via the University of Lethbridge Library.

Alberta Historical Air Photo Mosaics -- About the Collection

This collection of 767 digitized mosaics was created primarily from Aerial Photographs taken between 1949-51 by the Aerial Survey Section, Technical Division, Alberta Department of Lands & Forest. It has been suggested that these mosaics were perhaps the earliest aerial survey of the entire Province of Alberta. Interestingly, the photo collection coincided with introduction of major resource extraction initiatives which makes them a still-relevant resource for students, researchers and the general public.

Viewing images: Select your Alberta NTS grid location below to locate corresponding historic air photo mosaics. The image to the right entitled Mosaic of Map Sheet Area 83J/09 [Flatbush, Alberta] is an example of the individual mosaics that make up the collection. Use image slider to zoom in to view image details.

Downloading images: FTP download of georeferenced TIFF images is available from the ABMI Data Portal's Historical Orthophotos of Alberta (circa 1950-60). Non-georeferenced TIFF images are linked from the map's item description or by email (

NTS Alberta Grid Map

  • The map above shows NTS topographic map areas (1:250K) for the Province of Alberta. Use it to identify an area of interest and then click on the specific regions to the right to display all available mosaics for that particular NTS area.
  • There are up to 16 individual air photo mosaics (1:50K) for each NTS area. They are numbered 1 to 16 and correspond to map areas on the right.
  • The NTS Index Map for the Prairie Provinces provides additional detail for identifying NTS map sheet locations for Alberta.


Source Collection

These air photo mosaics were scanned from originals held at the University of Lethbridge Library and University of Calgary Library.