Austin Historic Aerials

Austin Aerials from 1940 in Property Profile.
The path of the old Jollyville Road is shown
from MoPac to Spicewood Springs / McNeil Rd.

I’d previously mentioned finding online sets of historic aerial photographs of Austin, Texas and it’s surrounds. Those were found by following the link at the bottom of the Austin History Center‘s page for Aerial Photographs. Here is the direct link to that box repository.

Yesterday, I found out that the City of Austin has provided access to some of the the photo sets in a more user friendly format. They’re provided in a map form like you’d find in the satellite view of Google Maps. Wow!

Let’s go look around

  1. Go to the Austin GIS Property Profile website.
  2. Click that button that looks like a less than sign to hide the Welcome pane.
  3. Start with the full map, or navigate to your point of interest.
  4. Click the Historic Layers button
  5. Expand the Aerials drill-down list
  6. Check the box for the year you want. 1958 is awesome!
  7. Hit OK and imagine a time machine noise.

If your map goes/stays blank, your time machine landed off the map. There probably isn’t any aerial data for that year. Zoom out to see where the year’s data is.

If you want to fade the aerial photo layer to see the original base map underneath:

  1. Click the Change visible map layers button
  2. Look under Layer Catalog/Aerials/(your year selection).
  3. Slide the slider to the left.

You can also add other layers like the red centerlines of today’s streets as shown above.

  1. Click the Change visible map layers button
  2. In the left pane click the checkbox under Property/AddressInformation/Street Centerline

The street centerlines only show up at higher zoom levels

What did you find?

I absolutely can not wait to find out what others discover or would like to share about Austin’s past. Do feel free to share something here. Also, consider sharing it in your own blog post or in this great Facebook group.

4 thoughts on “Austin Historic Aerials

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