National Air Photo Library

As a result of a government wide web renewal exercise to improve user experience, the functionality of the National Air Photo Library (NAPL) online application (formerly ‘NAPL Online’) has been integrated into the National Earth Observation Data Framework (NEODF) Catalogue. This catalogue enables public and government users to search and order raw Government of Canada Earth Observation images and archived product managed by NRCan such as aerial photos and satellite imageries.

The National Air Photo Library (NAPL) of Natural Resources Canada archives over 6 million aerial photographs covering all of Canada, some of which date back to the 1920s. Aerial photographs have many practical uses, such as:

  •  map compilation;
  • urban and rural planning;
  • environmental impact assessment;
  • civil law cases, real-estate evaluation;
  • outdoor recreation;
  • and even wall art.

NAPL indexes and stores federal aerial photography for Canada, and maintains a comprehensive historical archive and public reference centre.

The National Earth Observation Data Framework (NEODF) online application allows clients to search and retrieve metadata for over 3 million air photos using several criteria, including:

  • official place name;
  • geographical coordinate;
  • National Topographic System (NTS) map number;
  • roll and photo number.

The National Earth Observation Data Framework (NEODF) online visually depicts the ’footprint’ of air photos on a seamless map background. After a search is completed, the air photos can be ordered from National Air Photo Library (NAPL). For brief search instructions, see the General Online Search Instructions section.

Please Note

While the National Air Photo Library endeavours to display the coverage of each air photo as accurately as possible within the online application, the outline depicted is a theoretical "footprint" based on a number of variables such as aircraft altitude, camera focal length and ground elevation. Variations in the methods used to record flight line data as well as the process used to digitize this data will result in differences between the theoretical "footprint" and the actual air photo coverage

Moreover, if you are ordering photos from the northern part of Canada, i.e., above the 60th parallel of latitude, please verify your choice of air photos with NAPL staff before submitting your order. This request is necessary due to the number of errors we are finding with previously input flight line data for the north. The map projection creates spatial distortion as you move further north and air photo footprint displacement is therefore more apparent in these areas. Your attention to this request will ensure that you will receive the correct air photos for your application. Thank you.


National Air Photo Library
Natural Resources Canada
615 Booth Street, Room 180
Ottawa Ontario Canada
K1A 0E9
Telephone: 613-995-4560 or 1-800-230-6275
Fax: 613-995-4568 or 1-800-661-6277

Monday to Friday, 1pm - 4pm


Ottawa OntarioSaskatchewanYukon Territory