Thanks to the computer there's an exciting tool available to researchers and web surfers eager to discover Alberta's changing landscape. Through the Alberta Online Airphoto Collection ( the Alberta Heritage Digitization Project (AHDP) at the University of Calgary has digitized more than 32,000 large format aerial photos that date between 1922 and 1956. It's a fantastic resource that makes it possible to see how large portions of the province (mostly urban areas) have evolved through the past 90 years.

A Calgary landmark through the years...

Stampede Park horse racing track circa 1926. The first combined Calgary Exhibition and Stampede had taken place only three years prior. Possibly the first aerial photos of Calgary, this series of photos were taken by RCAF personnel flying De Havilland DH.4 and Avro Viper biplanes from RCAF Station High River. (ADHP CA 111 66)

Stampede Park horse racing track circa 1956. This photo was part of a contract to the Photographic Survey Corporation Ltd. (ADHP 11789)

Stampede Park circa the new millennium. Notice how the oval track has not only moved, but changed direction when compared to the Elbow River. Unlike the previous two photographs, this was a purely digital image taken by a satellite orbiting hundreds of kilometres overhead. (Google maps)

Old photos make it possible to rediscover our history, like the long-gone airfield at RCAF Station Lincoln Park. Constructed in 1935 Lincoln Park was home to No.3 (Bomber) Squadron, No.3 Service Flying Training School (S.F.T.S.) and No.10 Repair Depot. It was in operation as an airfield until 1964, after which it was carved up and consumed by the growing inner city (there was even an attempt to relocate the Stampede to this site in 1964). All that remains of this once busy airfield are a couple wartime hangars. Thanks to the ADHP visitors can see Lincoln Park as it appeared in 1956. (ADHP 11701)

In the 1950s the Photographic Survey Corporation was using aircraft operated by its subsidiary, Kenting Aviation Ltd. It's possible that the above photo of RCAF Station Lincoln Park was taken through the optically-perfect glass of a Lockheed 14 Hudson like this. (Mike Ody collection via