Aerial Photography


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Aerial Photography

IDOT has a full scale photogrammetric unit, fulfilling the topographic mapping needs of the department. Images are also available for purchase for a nominal fee.

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Available Coverage

IDOT maintains a film library dating back to its inception. During that time, over 8,000 projects have been flown at various scales and covering various areas throughout the state. In addition, high altitude photographic coverage of nearly the entire state is available from a series of late 1960’s, late 1970’s, 1988, 1993/94 and 1998/99, and 2005 photography. Although the vast majority of this photography is in black and white, there are a limited number of projects which have been flown in color or color infrared.

Services and Fees

Historical Research

Coverage area photographic requests require a comprehensive search of the agency's records from 1956 to the present, as well as an actual verification from the requesting entity.

There is a $13.00 per hour fee for historical research.


Most of the photography can be enlarged up to nearly 20 times the original scale and can be printed in a variety of sizes ranging from 10”x10” to 40”x40”. Please utilize the fee structure below when determining payment:

Size10" x 10"20" x 20"40" x 40"
Price for 1st Print$13.50$26.50$85.00
Each Additional Copy$6.50$19.50$78.00

Note: Check or money order is the only form of payment accepted at this time and will be required at the time of pickup/delivery.

Placing an Order

To order aerial photography you can mail, fax, or email a letter of request. In your letter you need to:

  • describe the area(s) you want coverage for. A description such as “site at SW corner of John and Doe intersection” is preferred; however, a legal description is acceptable.
  • indicate whether you want the newest, oldest, closest to a certain date, or historical photography (note there is a research fee for historical requests).
  • include a copy of a map detailing the desired area. A county plat book map, copy of a USGS quadrangle map, or a detailed map from any of the online map sites is sufficient. Your map should have the site outlined as specific as possible, not circled.
  • include a phone number and mailing address on your request so that we may contact you with the information. Please note that a $13.00 per hour fee will be charged for research related to your request. A time, size, and cost estimate will be provided when we know what is available for your site. The research fee is charged even if an order is not placed as the historical research service was performed and communicated.

Letters of request can be mailed to:

Illinois Department of Transportation
Surveys, Mapping and Modeling
2300 South Dirksen Parkway, Room 003
Springfield, Illinois 62764

Letters of request can be faxed to: Surveys, Mapping and Modeling, (217) 524-4149

Letters of request can be emailed to:

Need Help?

Joseph Putnam
(217) 785-2947
Surveys, Mapping and Modeling
Office of Program Development