Simmons Aerofilms

  • Scope and Contents: 2 million vertical aerial survey photographs of locations around the world.
  • Conditions Governing Access: Open. Accessible on the NCAP website and via the Paid Search service.


The Simmons Aerofilms Collection contains aerial photography taken by several important British air survey companies over a period of 50 years. This material was brought together over a period of several decades during the acquisition or merger of successive companies.  


In 1997, Simmons Mapping (UK) Limited, established in 1965 to provide topographic and engineering survey services throughout the UK and Middle East, acquired Aerofilms Limited and in 2001 the two companies merged to create Simmons Aerofilms Limited. The resultant archive of accumulated aerial photography includes the output of aerial survey firms such as:


  • Hunting Surveys Ltd
  • Fairey Surveys Ltd
  • Clyde Surveys Ltd
  • Simmons Aerofilms Ltd


Amounting to over 1.5 million images, the archive covers a vast array of subjects, forming a record of development in industrial, urban, suburban, rural and coastal areas of locations across the globe.  


An example image from the Simmons Aerofilms Collection, showing flooding of the River Ouse, East Sussex, in 2000.


In 2005, Simmons Aerofilms Ltd was acquired by Blom ASA, a Norway-based geographical information and offshore technology company, and subsequently became Blom Aerofilms and then Blom. The collection of aerial photography was purchased and transferred to NCAP in 2013.


View online Simmons Aerofilms Collection images.