“Organize all kinds of U.S. real estate records from the past to the present so that they can be used for research and analysis.”
Nationwide Environmental Title Research, LLC owns HistoricAerials.com, which is a part of NETROnline.com (NETR). The parent company, NETR, was started in 1993 and is the brick-and-mortar entity that provides research and information services for real estate all over the country. In 1999, NETROnline was made as an online hub that makes it easy to find and access property records.
Use our Public Records Portal to look up information about a property.
Through our Property Data Store, you can download copies of deeds and mortgages.
Use our Environmental Database to find out about environmental issues.
Use HistoricAerials to look at old and new aerial photos.
The idea for HistoricAerials came from the wish to be able to look at recent and old aerial photographs and maps of any place in the United States. This website and its technology are different because they use remote sensing to show where a certain location has been over time on orthophotography and orthorectified maps. This makes it possible to analyze, compare, find changes, identify, measure, plan the layout of a property, and get the geospatial coordinates of features that no longer exist.
Aerial photography is the only way to get a true picture of the earth’s surface at a certain time. Because it gives data and a point of view that is hard to find elsewhere, it can be used for academic research, settling legal disputes, tracking genealogy, planning real estate development, doing environmental due diligence, and much more.
In the past, historical collections of aerial photographs were kept in filing cabinets or other containers and archived at federal, state, county, and city offices, as well as by private organizations that had storage space. These were often flown at different heights and at different times. This lack of continuity made it easy to combine geospatial and web technologies and inspired us to come up with new ways to use aerial photography and orthorectified maps.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) had been around for a long time, but HistoricAerials was the first (or one of the first) to show how historical orthophotography and modern orthophotography could be used together. Our collection is getting close to a petabyte and includes aerial photography, topographic maps, and atlases. We can also quickly show images of land and buildings all over the United States. It has never been so easy to use, like searching by address, landmark, or latitude and longitude coordinates to find locations at different times.
The device knows right away if orthophotography or maps are available at any geographic coordinate and scale (this is possible by drawing footprints of the imagery with bounding coordinates, which are entered into and accessed through a geospatial database). The different images and years are then shown by buttons that you can click to easily move through time for a given geographic coordinate, which is shown at the same registered scale.