New historical aerial photo site launched

Author: John Gibson

Do you want to know about historic development of your area? Building development, historic land use, changes to rivers and coasts over time, can all be seen by viewing old aerial photographs. Historical images form a valuable public resource for land management, engineering, property development, natural hazards assessment, etc.

GWRC together with other local councils have joined an initiative to scan the Crown Archive of historical aerial images. This archive, housed in Napier contains images from the 1920's onwards, as old film negatives. These are being progressively scanned to make this resource available to councils and the public as a shared resource. This is expected to result in about 22,000 images of the Wellington region being made available in the next 2 years or so.

Below is an example image from the archive.

Mt Cook, 1982

To make this imagery more widely available, a local government consortium has created the RetroLens project. This consists of a shared image store, accessed via an interactive public website. Images can be previewed and downloaded. Note that RetroLens images will need to be corrected (rotated and transformed) before being used in mapping software. The very first images of our region are now available through RetroLens.

The image below shows the RetroLens public interface.



Published: 20/06/2017 Updated 20/06/2017