To have! Explore 100 years of aerial photography with this interactive map

Have you ever tried to find your friend’s house on Google Maps? Or have you been caught at the wrong time by the Street View car as it passes you? This new interactive and searchable tool from Historic England will allow you to see areas of England captured with aerial photography over the past 100 years. Try to spot your grandparents!

Changes in rural landscapes and the expansion of urban architecture are just a few things that make aerial photography so interesting. Finding crop circles and hidden archeology has never been so much fun.

• Learn more: Best drones with camera

Historic England is an executive public body that helps others enjoy, nurture and celebrate England’s historic environments. This non-departmental UK government body uses its funds to provide grants, support change, protect heritage and, in this case, create online aerial photo maps.

In launching its new Aerial Photography Explorer, Historic England has created a tool which, for the first time, will allow users to search and explore areas in England via an interactive online map, including aerial photography collected over the last 100 years. Fascinating insight into the evolution of the country, the aerial explorer can also reveal startling discoveries.

The British airship R101 performing a short circuit over Bedford, 1929 (Image credit: Aerofilms/Historic England Collection)

More than 400,000 images from 1919 to the present have been added to the online tool, giving users immediate access to a collection of nationally significant aerial photographs that covers nearly 30% (approximately 15,000 square miles) of the country.

Historic England’s Aerial Survey and Mapping Team was established in 1967 to discover new archaeological sites, create archaeological maps and monitor the condition of historic sites across the country by taking photographs of the nation from the tunes. About 300,000 of the 400,000 images used come from the work of this team.

The rest of the images were provided by the Historic England Archive of Aerial Photographs collection, with a total of over six million images, including those of historical significance such as interwar and aerial images. post-war Aerofilms Ltd and the Royal Air Force.

By making this tool available to the public, Historic England hopes that users will use it to make discoveries about their region. It will in turn also provide industry professionals and local authorities with a useful resource to assist with planning, heritage projects and archaeological research.

Bristol Temple Meads station in 1938 (Image credit: © Historic England / Aerofilms Collection)

“I am delighted that our new online tool will make it easy for people to access our wonderful collection of aerial imagery and enjoy the historic photography that our team uses every day to unravel the mysteries of England’s past,” said Duncan Wilson, managing director of Historic England.

“What better way to discover our shared history than through this fascinating new online tool that offers a comprehensive view of our past,” added MP Nigel Huddleston, Minister of Heritage. “I look forward to learning more about my region and encouraging everyone to explore the thousands of English sites from the last century.”

Over the next few years, Historic England plans to expand The Aerial Photography Explorer platform, as more than six million aerial images from the Historic Archives of England are digitized.

For more information on the latest research from Historic England, check out its website to discover the most important historic places in England.

Read more:

The best drones for beginners
The best DJI drones
LIVE report: watch the launch of the new DJI drone here!
Best drone landing pad

Comments are closed.