Aerial Images

We have digital aerial images (air photos and orthophotos) of Carleton campus, the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and Ontario that range in years from 1928-2017. All of these resources are limited to Carleton students, staff, and faculty use unless indicated otherwise.

Canadian and international sources below are freely available for use by anyone unless otherwise noted.

For all but Canada and international, lists are in reverse chronological order with data provider (City of Ottawa or National Capital Commission) and pixel resolution noted when available. Coverage varies from year to year and from provider to provider.

It is possible to measure features on an orthophoto but not on an air photo. More information.

Aerial images for Carleton Campus | Ottawa-Gatineau | Ontario | Canada | International

Carleton Campus Resource available to Carleton University students, faculty and staff only

Ottawa-Gatineau Resource available to Carleton University students, faculty and staff only

Clicking on the links below will permit you to download the data via our online downloading system (you must be a Carleton student, staff or faculty member to use this system; if you are from another academic institution and you require this data for academic purposes, email us and we may be able to assist). 

If you simply want to view (but not download) City of Ottawa air photos, GeoOttawa allows viewing the City's imagery using the Aerial Maps button and selecting a year of interest from the resulting menu.

Ontario Resource available to Carleton University students, faculty and staff only

Carleton students, faculty and staff have access to a number of Ontario aerial imagery datasets outside the Ottawa-Gatineau region through Scholars GeoPortal.

Historical Air Photos (pre-2000) of Ontario

These resources are freely available to all users.


Check see if your city or area of interest has an open data site and search for "image" and/or "photo." Hard-to-find but available: Montréal.

Orthoimages of Canada 2005-2010 (10m resolution for panchromatic; 20m resolution for multispectral) are available digitally via Open Government Canada. The easiest way to access them is as follows:

  1. Go to the Orthoimages webpage.
  2. Scroll down to Data and Resources.
  3. Download the Index of available files (KMZ) and open in Google Earth.
  4. Zoom in and click on the area you are interested in and you will be linked directly to that tile's file downloads. For each tile you will have the choice between projections (UTM and Lambert Conformal Conic) and multispectral or panchromatic. You may need to download multiple tiles for full coverage of your area of interest.

The National Air Photo Library is located on Carling Street here in Ottawa and contains over 6 million air photos dating as far back as 1920. You can search 3 million of their holdings using their online search tool.

The University of Ottawa library also has a large collection of air photos. You can search their holdings using the uOttawa National Air Photo collection index.

Provincial and territorial air photo collections that are freely available:

If you are looking for aerial imagery of a specific location, check to see if the area makes aerial imagery available via open data. Our Open Data Repositories - Canada is a good place to start.


Land Viewer provides free access to Landsat 7, Landsat 8, Modis, and Sentinel-2 satellite datasets. 

Earth Explorer from the US Geological Survey provides access to almost a dozen air photo datasets in the United States. 

As with Canadian areas, you may want to check open data repositories starting with our Open Data Repositories - US and International page.

Content last updated: September 28, 2018