Aerial Imagery

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

Toitū Te Whenua makes New Zealand’s most up-to-date publicly owned aerial imagery freely available for use under an open licence. You can access this through the LINZ Data Service or LINZ Basemaps service.

Our aerial imagery covers 95% of the country. It is captured from airborne sensors and cameras that give us an accurate photographic representation of the earth’s surface and the features on it. The imagery can be used to visualise the landscape or understand how an area has evolved. 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 regional imagery dataset. It also supplied the associated index with contextual information such as date of capture and extent.

National Imagery collection on LDS

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

NZ Imagery Survey Index dataset on LDS

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. It provides full coverage of mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands and offshore islands.

Explore LINZ Basemaps

Access historical aerial photography of New Zealand through LINZ and Retrolens

The Crown Aerial Film Library is an important national taonga. It preserves, in snapshots, changes in the national landscape and the story of the New Zealanders living in it. This is a unique and crucial record of 84 years of New Zealand history.

The Library comprises nearly 700,000 photo negatives from 7,300 aerial surveys flown between 1936 and 2008, as well as contact prints and other associated materials. Photography was captured for a range of purposes including photogrammetry and topographic mapping, Defence training, land management, and town planning.

From 2014 to 2023, LINZ led a collaborative programme to digitise the film negatives in the Crown Aerial Film Library.  Creating digital versions of historical photographs aids long-term preservation and enables access to historical imagery for use in multiple applications. 

The Crown Aerial Film Library historical imagery scanning project

The NZ Aerial Photo Footprints, Mainland NZ, (1936-2005) polygon layer on the LINZ Data Service contains metadata for every photo frame in the Crown Aerial Film Library.  This is the only comprehensive record of all items in the collection.  Approximately 60% of the records have footprint geometries, with the remainder identifiable through metadata text search.  

NZ Aerial Photo Footprints, Mainland NZ (1936-2005) on LDS

Abley’s Retrolens website provides an interactive interface for searching and viewing many of the surveys in the Crown Aerial Film Library. These images are available for download at a smaller resolution than the original scans.

Explore Retrolens

Full resolution scans, survey charts, and calibration files may be requested by emailing with the subject line ‘Historical Imagery’.

Download NZ Orthophotos commissioned from 1994 to 2006

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

NZ Orthophotos collection on LDS