New Aerial Imagery has arrived!


Each year a group of Canterbury local authorities and the regional council contract new aerial photographs to be captured over the Canterbury region. These digital photographs are captured using a specialist high powered camera on board an aircraft flying at altitude of 1400m.

The capture is very weather dependent as we need cloud free images captured and when the sun is nearly overhead in summer for the minimum shadows to appear on the images. Once these images have been captured, they go through processing to ensure they are in the correct geographic location, have enough overlap between photos and go through a process of flattening the terrain in the imagery through a procedure called orthorectification.

The 11 Canterbury councils together with public-private partnership capture a different area of Canterbury each summer; over what is now a decade long program. Thousands of individual photographs are then combined to provide a continuous surface across all of Canterbury. Our imagery collection also contains historical digitally-converted film photographs dating back to 1920’s.

You can view the aerial photographs in 2D in Canterbury Maps Viewer or both in 2D and 3D in the Canterbury Maps Property Search.

Aerial photographs provide the real-world context to our location information for Local Councils and Environment Canterbury’s wide variety of functions, including monitoring land use, traffic management, managing public and private utility networks, property information and developing farm environment plans. Regionally it is used as part of our processes in hazard identification, coastal erosion, climate change monitoring, river engineering including flood control, biosecurity, environmental monitoring, regional policy and planning and for considering applications for certain resource consents – land use consents, coastal permits, water permits, discharge permits and planning public passenger transport. In the event of a disaster, the imagery is a record of what the prior state was preceding an event.


For a list of the new areas captured see below:


Mackenzie: Tekapo, Albury, Burkes Pass, Fairlie, Kimbell, Twizel, Manuka Terrace, Cemeteries

Timaru District: Timaru, Pareora, Peel forest, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Geraldine

Ashburton District: Ashburton, Chertsey, Hakatere, Hinds, Lake Clearwater, Lauriston, Mayfield, Methven, Mt Somers, Rakaia, Rangitata Huts

Banks Peninsula: Okains Bay, Little Akaloa, Little River, Cooptown, Le Bons Bay, Koukourarata Marae, Birdlings Flat, Pidgeon Bay, Kukupa, Barrys Bay, Duvauchelle, Robinsons Bay, French Farm, Tikao Bay, Takamatua Bay, Akaroa, Wainui and Anchorage Bay.



New imagery captured of Hakatere / Ashburton River


Don't forget you can always check the date the imagery was captured by adding the "Latest Imagery Extents" layer to your map and clicking on the area of interest. You can also use the swipe tool to compare imagery. See the video to the right on how to do this in the map viewer.

 As always we appreciate your feedback. If you would like to let us know something you liked or didn't like, or any ideas you have please send them through to us here