Skagit County publishes 1969 aerial photos online

Skagit County publishes 1969 aerial photos online

SKAGIT COUNTY — Skagit County is pleased to make available to the public aerial photography images captured 45 years ago.

The high resolution photographs are available through the County’s web map tool called “iMap,” a custom feature that will now allow interactive exploration of 835 square miles of aerial imagery from 1969.

This is the first time these images are available digitally and geo-referenced, which means iMap will allow comparison of current aerial photos with historic photos.

While browsing through the photographs can be an entertaining trip down memory lane, these images also represent a valuable resource for research. The high resolution of the images makes it possible to determine historic locations of roads, water courses, development and even past land cover.

“By working with Aerometric, (the company that originally flew these images), we were able to get an excellent product,” said Joshua Greenberg, a GIS and remote sensing specialist with the County.

“The Seattle based company had recently been purchased by a national firm and before the negatives were packed up and left the region we were able to get them to scan the originals,” Greenberg added. “They have special processes for cleaning off the dust, and high resolution scanners that scan at 12 microns. They also have tiled all images together and corrected them to overlay on our current imagery and data. This makes it easy to click back and forth between different time periods.

The images can be accessed at: http://www.skagitcounty.net/Maps/iMap/

To access the photos, go to “Additional Maps” and select “aerial photography.” By clicking on the box next to 1969 and un-clicking any image date boxes above, you can view and zoom in to the images. If you also select the 2013 image you can use the “transparency” slider tool to quickly compare changes from the 1969 image to the 2013 image. Use the search tab to find an address, parcel ID or road name (current data only).

George Hopper

Comparison of George Hopper Exit in Burlington (1969 left; 2013 right, flown by Pictometry Intl.)

Contact: Joshua Greenburg, GIS specialist
(360) 336-9368 Ext. 16

About the Author

Chris Nelson
I'm a long time Skagit County Resident. I believe in doing the right thing and helping others when you can.

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