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More than 100,000 aerial photographs have been added to the Old Aerial Photos online collection of historically important images following an agreement with Land & Property Services (Northern Ireland) to supply the entire Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) photographic archive. The newly available archive includes complete countrywide coverage from 2002 onwards together with a vast array of mainly urban areas dating back to the 1950’s. With scales ranging from 1:20,000 up to 1:3,000 visitors to will be able to view and download images to help with boundary or property disputes, site investigation, historical research or genealogical studies.

“We hope that this agreement will encourage greater uptake and use of our vast historical archive,” commented Philip Goss, Copyright and Contract Manager at Land & Property Services. “Bluesky, who manage Old Aerial Photos, has an excellent reputation as an experienced supplier of historical imagery and already hold the largest archive of historical imagery in the UK. This agreement will build on this position and will further help Bluesky grow their immense archive making them a one stop shop for aerial photography in Britain and Northern Ireland.” Philip added, “Aerial photography was first used as a source for mapping information in 1958 following a decision to create a new map reference system, the Irish Grid, which would enable seamless coverage of the Country, More recently air photography has also been used for the generation of various products including orthophotography, a seamless detailed scaled photograph of Northern Ireland.”

Visitors to can already search through more than a million aerial photos dating back as far as 1917 by simply entering a postcode, address or grid reference. Detailed search results, including the age and ground coverage, of every image that matches the search criteria are displayed and the visitor can choose to purchase either a hard copy print or digital image file.

Photos that are available to purchase from include some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, the images are an invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town planning.




  1. Good info, thanks for sharing.

  2. Very interesting, thanks.

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