Indianapolis Aerial Photography

Using Indianapolis’ official City website,, you can view maps of Indianapolis much like mapquest, and aerial photographs dating back to 1935 that allow you to view the whole city and also to zoom in close to see, for example, the roof of your house.

The initial view of Indianapolis shows a map with a toolbar above and a list of layers over on the right. If you check off “2003 Aerial Photography” the map switches to aerial photos of the city, and you can click anywhere in the map to zoom into that spot. If you click on the pushpin icon in the toolbar, a pop-up window lets you enter a street address, which is then pinpointed on the map. Doing this first helps you zoom to the exactly location you’re looking for.

If you want to see Aerial photography from the past, go to the drop-down menu on your lower left below the layers list and select “aerial photography” and the layers list will change to a list of years. Click on the year you want to see and click “refresh map” and you will see your zoomed in location grow younger before your eyes.

I did this for my own house and could easily see in 2003 my old car parked behind my house. I stepped back through the years (my house was built in 1894) and watched the landscape and streets around my house change through the years.

You can also print out or e-mail maps, which means you can pinpoint your house and send a party invitation complete with street names filled in directing people to your abode. You can also measure distances between two locations, and a half dozen other uses I haven’t played around with yet.

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