The Changing Face of Pennsylvania

Learning from Aerial Photographs

The Changing Face of Pennsylvania

Participants review aerial maps taken over time to assess changes in growth and development. Based on the aerial photographs, participants measure and determine how the changes affect natural and human resources.


Aerial photographs of state parks, schools and communities may be available through the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey at A set of aerial photographs of the city of Lancaster in Lancaster County is provided and may be used for this activity.

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  • What tools are available to assess land changes and help us make sound land decisions?
  • How does growth and development impact natural resources?
  • Why is it important to protect natural resources and natural spaces?
  • What factors influence the location of development?
  • What can you predict about future growth patterns?



Land cover maps, geology maps and topographic maps could be distributed to each group and used to enhance the lesson.


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