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Big Names, Big Things, Big Farms All Ready To Explore

Posted on 03/21/2017 by Nathan Lewis

Jolly Green Giant, 1980

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” but it actually has 11,842 Lakes! Perhaps “10,000” just rolls off the tongue a bit better! These lakes make up 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. This is just the beginning of “big” in Minnesota.

Big Names

The Legendary poet, songwriter, and musical genius Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941. Bob Dylan has sold well over 40 million albums and he is also one of my personal favorites. Next up, Before he was Prince, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and then Prince again, singer/songwriter and music legend Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Big Things

You may not know this, but Minnesota is home to some of the largest “things” in the world. The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields – 9.5 million square feet. This is the second largest mall in America. The world’s largest ball of twine built by a single person sits in Darwin, weighing in at 17,400 pounds and twelve feet in diameter. The world’s largest pelican, Pelican Pete is a concrete statue that stands 15.5 feet tall at the base of the Mill Pond dam in downtown Pelican Rapids. The world’s largest “kneeling statue,” Paul Bunyan Statue is in Akeley and stands 20 feet tall. The brand “Green Giant Great Big Tender Peas” was created in 1925 and company mascot Jolly Green Giant was born. He stands tall and green in Blue Earth at 55.5 feet tall.

Big Farms

Minnesota is the 5th ranked state for agricultural production. The annual economic activity generated in Minnesota related to agriculture is more than 75 billion dollars. There are 26 million acres of farmland in Minnesota totalling 74,542 farms. The average farm size is 349 acres and they produce corn, soybeans, hogs, dairy products and cattle predominantly. Our photos at Vintage Aerial depict many of these rural homes and farms, and we are happy to announce that we have just made 442,000 photos in Minnesota available. You can search these photos by a current address or by a map location. We hope you enjoy!

Vintage Aerial at the National Center for Nature Photography

Posted on 03/14/2017 by Nathan Lewis

The Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark, Toledo, OH

At Vintage Aerial we are passionately committed to sharing our archive of more than 20 million aerial photographs of rural America. Whether you want rediscover your past or learn more about your family history or just see your part of the world in a new way, we want to help you make those connections. So we were thrilled when the Toledo Metroparks asked us about participating in the aerial-photography exhibit at the National Center for Nature Photography, located at Secor Metropark in western Lucas County. We learned that the Center wanted to create an exhibit that would showcase the power of contemporary aerial photography, using developing drone technology to provide new and intriguing perspectives on familiar landscapes. And we knew right away that our historical aerial photographs, representing more than a half century of our nation’s rural history, could enhance the exhibit by providing depth and historical perspective on the parklands and surrounding areas the Metroparks wanted to feature.

So of course we said yes. Working with the park systems’ expert staff, we explored the locations in and around Toledo that they wanted to highlight. Once we had those locations, we used our state-of-the-art geo-location system and our associated technologies to identify within our vast collection exactly the right pictures that would help tell this wonderful story – how the rich and varied spaces and the accompanying ecologies of our region have changed over time; how buildings have appeared and changed; and how, throughout it all, the Oak Openings region has survived and thrived as a place for healthy and natural living. We donated photographic prints to the exhibit to ensure that the Metroparks achieved its artistic and educational goals of showing visitors something new and beautiful about the past, the present, and the promising future.

You can see the results in the pictures we display here. And better, you can see the whole exhibit at the National Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark,10001 W Central Avenue, Berkey, OH 43504.

The Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark, Toledo, OH in 1970 (left) and 2017 (right) photographed via drone by Toledo Aerial Media

385,000 Aerial Photos Available for Search in Kentucky

Posted on 01/10/2017 by Nathan Lewis

Maker’s Mark Distillery, 1979

From horse racing and Bourbon Country, to the culture of Appalachia, Civil War significance and Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky is a state with deep traditions and important history. Kentucky has had a strong agricultural community with nearly 85,000 farms in 2011, that averaged 164 acres. Horses were the leading source of farm income for Kentucky farmers. Kentucky is home to some of the world’s leading thoroughbred farms and thoroughbred auctions. Kentucky still leads the nation in burley tobacco production and beef cattle east of the Mississippi River. Located in the south central United States along the west side of the Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky ranks 37th in land size, with 39,732 square miles.

Today we are excited to be releasing 385,000 aerial photos from Kentucky. Nearly all these photos are searchable by address or by map location. It has been an interesting journey viewing the many types of farm photos as the geocoding process took shape. Hopefully there are many memories and stories waiting to be shared and cherished within these amazing images.

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.

Responsive Redesign

Posted on 07/08/2015 by Kevin Marsh

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

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.