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Elfin Forest Aerial Photo Collection


SWAP has put together a small collection of aerial photographs from various sources showing the Elfin Forest over time. The earliest is by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture from 1937 (compliments of Morro Bay National Estuary Program). Most are from the early efforts to purchase and establish the Elfin Forest Natural Area or flown were for SWAP so we can see how the restoration of the Forest is progressing. Below is a selection of eleven aerials that best show the effects of time.

These photos have been cropped and rotated to show the same area and pretty much overlay each other. Due to the vegaries of aerial photography the overlay is only approximate. Making copies that exactly match is a future and more difficult task.

You download the aerials by simply clicking on the year of interest. Once the picture appears you should be able to save or print it. You will note there are two copies of some photos. This is because some of the originals a quite large in size. The second set has been compressed to no more than 0.5 MB. The larger files from 2002 to 2011 are quite detailed to the point that individual planks in the boardwalk are visable.

Should you want to use any of these photos in a publication please contact the webmaster for the citation information. Additional photos will be added as time permits. A couple have been rectified and put into "UTM space". These can be used in ArcView and yield reasonably accurate distance measurements.

Year Size                                 Year Size
1937.jpg 225 KB
1949.jpg 355 KB
1978.jpg 1.33 MB                                 s1978.jpg 424 KB
1988.jpg 8.91 MB                                 s1988.jpg 499 KB
1995.jpg 24.1 MB                                 s1995.jpg 490 KB
1998.jpg 9.26 MB                                 s1998.jpg 516 KB
2002.jpg 11.4 MB                                 s2002.jpg 478 KB
2003.jpg 12.7 MB                                 s2003.jpg 476 KB
2007.jpg 11.3 MB                                 s2007.jpg 474 KB
2009.jpg* 545 KB
2010.jpg 492 KB
2011.jpg 15.7 MB                                 s2011.jpg** 2.89 MB
2017.jpg 12.0 MB                                 s2017.jpg** 2.90 MB

* The 2009 image was shot with a special multi-spectral IR film for MBNEP looking to plot the extent of Eelgrass in the Bay and displays some plants as light blue rather than green.

** The 2011 & 2017 images have so far resited our efforts to reduce them down to under 500K in size.