May 22, 2022

Reference: Historical Aerial Photos of Connecticut’s Coastline Now Available Online

New from the University of Connecticut Libraries:

In August 2011, Tropical Storm Irene took a hard swipe at Connecticut’s 350 miles of coastline, eroding dunes and redistributing sand to the extent that the state’s coastline appeared to be altered. The consequences of such major weather events on Connecticut’s coast, major waterways, and natural resources are easier to understand, now that historical aerial photographs of the state’s coast covering the past 40 years are available online.

The new resource is the result of collaboration between UConn Libraries’ Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) and the Office of Long Island Sound Programs of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). For a video about the aerial photos, click here.


The digital indexes can be used by experienced Geographic Information System (GIS) users as “shapefiles,” which can be downloaded from MAGIC and integrated with their own GIS data and systems. The shapefiles provide basic information about the photo images such as the date, time frame, and who collected it.

To assist non-GIS users, MAGIC staff developed a custom Google Maps-based interface as a map preview, to enable users to search by an address or town to locate relevant images for the area.

The scanned photo images themselves are centrally stored at MAGIC. Whether you are a GIS user or non-GIS user, the digital indexes are the underlying link that provides acces


The digital indexes are available to the public from the MAGIC GIS data page, and users can view individual aerial images through downloadable GIS datasets as well as with Google Earth-friendly KML files and a custom interactive map interface.

The indexes are also available via the Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online website.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.