Historical aerial photographs of Floyd and other Georgia counties are now available online through the Digital Library of Georgia.
The collection of photography indexes that chronicle changing land use from the 1930s to 1990s are available freely through a partnership with the University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library.
“MAGIL’s aerial photography collection is heavily used by researchers looking for everything from the existence of the old family farm to the first appearance of a bridge to the development of an intersection over time,” said Valerie Glenn, head of UGA’s MAGIL and federal regional depository librarian.
The indexes — at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/gyca_gaphind — were produced by U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. The more than 1,200 indexes covering all 159 Georgia counties have been added to the previously-digitized indexes of select counties and approximately 50,000 black and white photographs in the Georgia Aerial Photographs database.
“By making these indexes available through the Digital Library of Georgia, we are greatly improving access for those users interested in how Georgia land has or has not changed and providing them the ability to conduct preliminary research on an area without having to travel to Athens,” Glenn said.
Aerial photography depicts the physical and cultural characteristics of land at a specific time. The images can provide insights into various fields from ecology and geography to history, archeology, and urban planning. In addition to aiding in the mapmaking process, aerial photographs can be used to settle legal issues such as property disputes and even identify ancestral sites for people researching genealogy, according to the National Archives website.