cTAP - CT Aerial Photography

Figure 1 - Four historical photos of the Housatonic River.


cTAP is a command line utility to lookup historical aerial photography.

The first implementation of cTAP was written in two hours during my internship at RACE Coastal Engineering. The program uses the Google geocoding API to get latitude and longitude from an entered address. These coordinates are compared against a list of coordinates associated with historical aerial photography. The photographs associated with the closest coordinates are returned for the user for the following survey years: 1934, 1952, 1965, 1985, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010.


Enter an Address: 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT
1934: .../CT1934_09770.pdf
1952: .../adimg_37831_03_CNE8H15_1951_s8_pma_1_p.pdf
1965: .../CTDEP65_31_2530.pdf
1985: .../adimg_37800_00_46ct3168_1986_s6_CTDEP_1_p.pdf
1990: .../adimg_37800_00_46ct3320_1990_s1_CTDEP_1_p.pdf
1995: .../adimg_37800_00_44ct32_1995_s1_STCT_1_p.pdf
2004: .../0410720372_7.pdf
2006: .../hdimg_37800_0000_n_4107219_ne_18_1_20060813_20070201_2006_s24_NAIP_1_tf.pdf
2008: .../m_4107219_ne_18_1_20080715.pdf
2010: .../m_4107219_ne_18_1_20100814.pdf


At the time of writing this the interactive maps hosted by UConn MAGIC (Map and Geographic Information Center), are broken.

The KML files however, are still freely available for download. These KML files are up to 800,000 lines in length but by parsing them with a Python script, the coordinates and URL of each photograph can be extracted.

cTAP uses these extracted coordinate/picture pairs to search for local areial photography and avoid the hassle of loading KML files into a GIS software suite.

Get cTAP

It's free, and you can do whatever you want with it.

All the source code is on my github.

You will need a google API key, or to add support for another geocoding service (such as Nominatim).