Access aerial imagery of New Zealand through the LINZ Data Service and LINZ Basemaps.

LINZ makes New Zealand’s most current publicly-owned aerial imagery – covering 95% of the country – freely available to use under an open licence through the LINZ Data Service, and now through the LINZ Basemaps service.

Aerial imagery is captured from airborne sensors and cameras. It provides an accurate photographic representation of the earth’s surface and the features on it. It can be used to visualise landscape, or to understand how an area has evolved over time. We also publish satellite imagery, providing a nationwide view of the New Zealand mainland and offshore islands.

Download data or stream imagery map services from the LINZ Data Service

The LINZ Data Service provides access to raster images for each individual regional imagery dataset, as well as the associated index that provides contextual information such as date of capture and extent:

You can also investigate the coverage and attribute information for all LINZ aerial imagery datasets on the LINZ Data Service via the NZ Imagery Survey Index dataset:

Display a national imagery map with the LINZ Aerial Imagery Basemap

Our ready to use Aerial Imagery Basemap details New Zealand in high resolution - from a nationwide view all the way down to individual buildings.

This basemap combines the latest high-resolution aerial imagery down to 5cm in urban areas and 10m satellite imagery to provide full coverage of mainland New Zealand, Chathams and offshore islands.

Access historical aerial photography of New Zealand through LINZ, WSP and Retrolens

The Crown Aerial Film Archive is an incredibly important national taonga. It preserves, in snapshots, the changes in the national landscape and, by extension, the story of the New Zealanders who live there. This is a unique and crucial record of the last 84 years of New Zealand history.

The Archive comprises 550,000 photo negatives from 7,300 aerial surveys flown between 1936 and 2008, as well as contact prints and other associated materials.  Photos were captured for a range of purposes, including photogrammetry and topographic mapping, defence training, land management and town planning.

LINZ’s Historical Aerial Imagery Scanning project seeks to digitise these photographs in the interest of long term preservation, easier access and use in multiple applications. 

The NZ Aerial Photo Footprints, Mainland NZ, (1936-2005) polygon layer on the LINZ Data Service (LDS) contains metadata for each photo in the Archive. 

Revisions to this layer, with updated metadata for newly digitised surveys, are released every few months.  Footprints for surveys originally part of the NZAM collection are also indexed in the Historic Aerial Photos, Survey Footprints, NZAM (1939-2008) layer.

Abley’s Retrolens website provides an interactive search interface for viewing and downloading many of the photos in the Archive.

Although these are at a lower resolution than LINZ’s original scans, the downloads are suitable for most general purposes. Full resolution scans, survey charts, and calibration files may be requested by emailing with the subject line: ‘Historical Imagery’.

Photos not yet scanned may be ordered from WSP New Zealand Limited for a fee.

Download NZ Orthophotos commissioned from 1994-2006

Orthophotos commissioned by LINZ from 1994-2006 have also been made available from the LINZ archive. From 1994-2003 these orthophotos were created to align with NZMS260 map sheet extents. From 2003-2006, the extents align with Topo50 map sheets.

Last Updated: 11 January 2021