Wisconsin Historic Aerial Imagery Finder

The WHAIFinder (pronounced “WAY-finder”) digital archive of historic aerial imagery provides quick and easy access to over 38,000 digital aerial photographs covering the entire state of Wisconsin.

UW-Madison “Then and Now” Poster

This image of the University of Wisconsin–Madison blends a modern color photograph from July 2, 2010, with an historic black and white photograph from July 6, 1937. The photographs show the campus across a span of 73 years.

Wisconsin Aerial Imagery (2018)

This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.  This includes both historic aerial photography, and present-day orthoimagery projects conducted by local, state, and federal government organizations.

Statewide Orthophotography Planning

In 2012, the State Cartographer’s Office began work on a Federal Geographic Data Committee Cooperative Agreement Program project entitled “Business Plan Development for a Wisconsin Aerial Imaging Program.”  This infosheet provides an overview of the project.

Using Web Analytics to Evaluate Online Maps

This article, published in the Journal of Web Librarianship, uses Web analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of online maps to support community outreach efforts. The specific focus is the WHAIFinder (Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder), which provides online access to a rare collection of aerial photographs from the 1930s.

An Open Source Web Application for Historic Air Photo Display and Distribution in Wisconsin

This paper describes an effort to build a digital archive and web-based retrieval system for historic air photos for the state of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an extensive collection of historic air photos, including a rare 1937-1941 collection that covers almost the entire state.

Wisconsin Orthophotography (2016)

This Infosheet summarizes the status of orthophoto projects in Wisconsin, and describes current and future trends that affect imagery users in the state.

Wisconsin Aerial Photography: Oddities and Interesting Sights

Aerial photography provides us with a wonderful way to observe our planet. The following “discoveries” were submitted to the SCO by mapping professionals from around the state.

Aerial Imagery Data

While Wisconsin does not have a statewide aerial imagery program, there are several options for acquiring digital imagery (either public domain, or for a fee.)  This includes imagery developed from local, state, and federal agencies.  Typically, the highest-resolution imagery in the state is produced and distributed by local governments.

Aerial Photography

An aerial photograph is a picture of the Earth’s surface taken with a specialized camera mounted in an airplane. Start with this page to learn more about how to find aerial photography in Wisconsin.