Historic Aerial Photos


August Weather Event 2022

Information relating to the recent weather event in Marlborough

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Historic Aerial Photos

Smart Maps

Some historic aerials are held by Council and have been georeferenced in GIS software so that the aerial photos draw on a map in the correct location.

Georeferenced historic aerial photos held by Marlborough District Council can be viewed through the Historic Aerial Photos Smart Map.

Click on the different year ranges to see the historic aerial photos available for that year. The accuracy of the historic aerial photos will vary but will generally draw in the correct location.

Historic Aerial Photos Smart Map


Retrolens is made up of a treasure trove of ungeoreferenced aerial photographs that have been taken since the 1936 through to 2005. It is a Crown archive and contains 500,000 images.

This Historic Image Resource came about as the result of a scanning project that was started in 2015 by partnerships between the Local Government Geospatial Alliance (LGGA) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). The two organisations were concerned that the treasure was deteriorating and with fewer and fewer scanners worldwide able to read the images, something had to be done quickly before this significant slice of our cultural and geospatial history was lost forever. An initial pilot was undertaken to test out the viability of a full scanning project for the whole archive, then the project itself, led by LINZ began.

The Local Government Geospatial Alliance (LGGA) representing the geospatial section of New Zealand’s local authorities created area co-funding partnerships with LINZ to enable the funding for the scanning. The project began with three partner regions (Canterbury, Waikato and Bay of Plenty). Council partners continue to join the project progressively from across NZ as different areas became aware of the project and have funding to be able to join the initiative. It is estimated that the scanning of the Crown archive will be completed by 2021.