A Landmark Moment for Vintage Aerial

Posted on 02/01/2016 by Fritz Byers

This is a landmark moment for Vintage Aerial. We are excited to share it with you, and we want to tell you a little bit about it.

After seven years, we are finally able to share our vast collection of historic aerial photographs with you in the way we’ve always intended – by making them available to you directly, allowing you to enjoy, study, and share them in the ways you want to, whenever you want to. And if you want to own a photograph – a print or a digital file – you can buy directly from our website using a streamlined, hassle-free online process. We’re here to help if you need it, in any way we can – ask for help, share your stories, join our communities, lend support in identifying photographs and enriching knowledge about the stories they tell. But now, and into our future, all of the choices will be yours.

This is the company we have wanted to be since we began in 2009. In that time, we’ve been busy. We’ve built from scratch a unique, robust process for converting our millions of film photographs to digital images, geolocating them with speed and precision, helping you find them with whatever historical information you may have, and displaying them to you. And we’ve converted more than 10 million of our 25 million pictures so they can be accessed through this process. Of course this has taken time, and we still have lots of work to do – converting another 15 million images (along with other collections we’re busily tracking down) geolocating them through our internal process to ensure we present them to you as accurately as possible and in the most accessible way.

As you may know, until now we’ve not had enough of a full-service digital library, and enough accompanying software tools, to be able to make our collections directly available to you in the ways we’ve dreamed of. So, while we’ve been building the company, we enlisted help from many trained outside Librarians who helped you and others find photos and navigate our process. You may have worked with a Librarian, and, if you have, we hope that in all ways your experiences were rewarding. We honor all they’ve done for us, and we’re grateful. But from the start, our vision has been to remove the barriers – human and technical – that stood between you and the photos you want to see.

We’re far enough down the road now to act on that vision. So, beginning today, all of your connections with Vintage Aerial can be directly online. If you want to see photographs that are meaningful to you, visit us and begin looking. Large swaths of our collection are directly accessible now through our automated search functions. Enter your information, and the site will find them for you and display them. If the photo you’re looking for isn’t yet part of the fully functional online archive, leave us a quick request, and we’ll get on it immediately, and we’ll promptly let you know by email that the pictures you’re looking for are ready, and we’ll send you the link.

Of course, if you want our assistance, we’re here to help in any way we can.

So, we are thrilled to be able to offer you an online collection of aerial photographs, available to you 24/7. That’s Vintage Aerial as we’ve always dreamed it.

-Fritz Byers President & CEO

Responsive Redesign

Posted on 07/08/2015 by Kevin Marsh

After months of hard work I’m proud to announce the new!

In addition to looking and working great on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops, this redesign also has a few new features that show you more of our collection and why we think it’s so important.

Mobile and Tablet Friendly

When we launched Vintage Aerial more than 7 years ago iPhones, iPads, and Android didn’t exist. Today, more than 50% of our traffic comes from these devices.

Every page has been redesigned to fit small mobile screens, tablets, larger desktop screens, and everything in between. There have also been a few thoughtful touches to make navigating more friendly on mobile and tablet devices.

Decades of Change

A lot has changed over the past 50 years. We’ve gained a lot of technological innovations that make all this possible, but we’ve also lost a lot of history. Only 50% of farms in America from 1960 remain, and the rest have undergone dramatic change.

That’s why we created Decades of Change. Our homepage now features just a few farms with photos from the 1960s, ‘70s, and ’80s showing just how much of our rural landscape has changed. We’ll continually add new photos here from our collection of millions.

Featured Stories

We’ve always thought our photos are a catalyst for memories and we love hearing your stories. We’ve redesigned our featured story pages to showcase more of our photos that are bigger, sharper, and look amazing on retina displays.

Our photos, your stories, together with that of your neighbors paints a rich picture of what rural America really was like.

More to Come

This is just the beginning. We have plans for even more ways for you to explore our collection, and we’re excited to share them with you.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for how we can continue to improve, please leave a comment below.

More Ohio Counties Released

Posted on 04/07/2015 by Lance Roper

We’re releasing 400,000 more images from our collection in Ohio!

Ohio is our home state, and we’re on track to open all images in the state by this summer! We’ll keep updating our blog with a list of recent openings for your convenience.

Help us spread the word to people who have roots and connections in these areas. We’re looking for volunteers to help us identify photos and leave stories.

More Browsable Places

Posted on 03/17/2015 by Lance Roper

We’re excited to announce another 92,000 images available for browsing on the West Coast!

The vast majority of these photographs are being released without approximate locations because the original flight path maps have been missing for decades. This means that in order to geolocate these images so that we can allow visitors to search by address or keyword, we need the help of people in these areas to help us identify photographs!

Here’s a look at what happens when photos are geolocated. Even in areas missing map data, we can recreate flight path maps when visitors pin locations. Once enough photos have been identified, we can enable visitors to search these areas by address and keyword!

Geolocated images in an area missing original map data, colors represent rolls of film.

Our hope is to crowdsource the identification of these photos, which means we need help spreading the word that they exist. If you, or anyone you know has a connection to any of these rural areas, let them know they can begin browsing through our collection from the 1960s.

Browsable Places

Posted on 03/13/2015 by Lance Roper

At Vintage Aerial, we’ve been working hard to turn our vision into reality, which we feel is encapsulated in our mission statement:

“Gathering the stories of rural America by presenting aerial photos in a way that evokes personal, family, and community memories that capture and share our common history.”

As a result, we’re on track to make nearly 2 million photographs available for searching and browsing by the end of this June! Our hope is that anyone with a connection to rural America will use our collection to reconnect with their past by viewing our photos and sharing memories with us.

The list below contains the states and counties we’ve made available as of today. Enjoy!