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Aerial photos

The Planning and Land Authority produces, updates and maintains many types of land information, from the smallest detail of a kerb and gutter in an engineering survey drawing to the extent of the ACT border. Aerial photographs are available from the plan room at the Dickson Customer Service Centre. Costs are set out in the fees and charges booklet (accessible HTML version) under the ACTLIC section.

Type of photography available

A comprehensive collection of colour aerial photography captured over the past 40 years and a limited black and white coverage dating back to the early 1950s is available. Much of the colour photography has been acquired since 1972 during Canberra's accelerated development. Some black-and-white photography exists dating back to the 1950s. As well, oblique photography of selected sites around Canberra is available. Aerial photography products are available as colour or black and white contact prints, full-frame of part-frame enlargements and transparencies.

Photography collection

The collection consists of:

  • High Level - vertical colour photography at a scale of 1:52,000 and flown so that prints in each run overlap to provide stereoscopic coverage. Adjacent runs also overlap. Coverage generally extends from Lake George to Bredbo and from Wee Jasper to Bungendore.
  • Development Record - vertical colour photography at a scale of 1:10,000 and flown so that prints in each run overlap to provide stereoscopic coverage. Adjacent runs also overlap. Coverage generally extends from north of the ACT border to Tharwa, and from the Murrumbidgee River in the west to Sutton Road in the east and includes Queanbeyan. In some years, coverage was extended past this. The last such photography acquired was in 1997. After this time various sets of photography were acquired for orthophotomapping projects viz, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2009. Individual frames from these sets are available.
  • Obliques - photography captured with the camera aimed at an angle to the vertical, generally showing the horizon. Coverage is over developing areas and sites of special interest, is not stereoscopic and considerable scale variation exists within one exposure.

Additionally, vertical photographs over each town centre and various small project runs of special interest are available.

Digital photography

We have versions of colour aerial photography that have been processed to create digital orthophoto maps and digital elevation models. These maps and models are true scale, distortion free and geo-referenced to the ACT local grid and are compatible with all other ACT data sets:

  • flown in 1998 over an area extending from the north of the ACT to Tharwa, and from Cotter Reserve to Sutton Road, covering the developed and developing areas of Canberra. This data is available at 0.5m and 0.25m resolution in "tiles" corresponding to the 1:2,500 map series breakup; and
  • flown in 2001 over the entire ACT and surrounding areas of NSW. This data is available at 1m resolution in 10 km by 10 km "tiles".
  • flown in 2004 to cover the built-up areas of the ACT at a resolution of 0.15m.
  • flown in 2006, with similar coverage to that of the 2004 set, but including coverage of future urban areas. pixel resolution is 0.15m.
  • flown in 2009, with extended coverage again. Pixel resolution is 0.1m
  • Digital imagery is being acquired in 2012. Pixel resolution will be 0.1m.

The advantages of digital imagery is that is is processed into a form that amy be utilised in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and integrated with other data sets, to provide custom mapping products. This may be seen on the ACT Governments spatial web browsing tool, ACTMAPi.



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