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 to 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, 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.

Our historical aerial imagery scanning project is digitising these photographs for long-term preservation, easier access and use in multiple applications. 

The Crown Aerial Film Archive historical imagery scanning project

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

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

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.

Historic Aerial Photos, Survey Footprints, NZAM (1939-2008) on LDS

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

Explore Retrolens

Although these are at a lower resolution than our 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.

WSP photo sales

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