Aerial Imagery

The GIS & Mapping Service's aerial imagery collection includes photographs dating as far back as 1937.

The GIS & Mapping Service's aerial imagery collection includes photographs in various formats, sizes, and scales dating as far back as 1937. By accessing any of the data, maps, or applications provided by Fairfax County, you agree to the terms in our disclaimer.

Aerial imagery is available on-line in the Historic Imagery Viewer application. Currently this application includes: 1937, 1953, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
We will add additional years as the digital data become available.


  Click to open the Historic Imagery Viewer Click for full-page map

The 1937 and 1953/54 imagery may be downloaded for free from the county's ShareFile site as sets of zipped files. If internet connectivity is slow, it is recommended to download each ZIP file individually.

Fairfax County does not provide software or technical support for viewing imagery. Free GIS viewing software is available from private vendors (ex: Esri's Explorer products). 

Statewide aerial imagery for multiple years is available for viewing and purchasing via The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) website.


Imagery years available for viewing in person at the GIS & Mapping Services office are:

  • 1937 photographic paper prints (for some areas of the county, 1943 is the oldest year available)

  • 1953/1954 photographic paper prints

  • 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996, and 1998 semi-rectified photographs on mylar film. The 1968-1978 are half tone positives and the 1980-1998 are continuous tone positives. The scale is approximately 1 inch = 500 feet and the boundaries correspond to the tax map grid.

Photocopies of the semi-rectified photographs from mylar film can be purchased at the GIS & Mapping Services office. See price list for details.

The 1937/43 and the 1953/54 photographs are available for viewing/research purposes only, and copies are not available from Fairfax County. Visitors are welcome to photograph any of the print/mylar photographs with their own cameras.



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