World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images

Exploring the world, one vista at a time...

Everest1-28tinyMount Everest

Welcome to the California Geographical Survey a resource hosted by the Department of Geography and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge. The Survey is a creation of Dr. William A. Bowen (professor emeritus). It operates for the benefit of the students and faculty of the California State University System, public and parochial school teachers, and the people of the State of California. It is the California Geographical Survey's intention to provide a variety of important geographic resources to the entire Internet community. Technical web site assistance is provided by Mr. Robert Provin.

The materials of the California Geographical Survey ( are available without restrictions to the California State University Northridge campus community for non-profit, classroom use. All other persons should be aware that materials contained within this geographic archive are copyrighted and the sole property of Dr. William A. Bowen. Use of such copyrighted materials without the expressed approval of the owner is strictly forbidden. In some cases, the author may extend additional legal rights to specific off-campus individuals and groups. The California Geographical Survey is not a public office funded by any government agency. Dr. Bowen's work is not in the public domain. Every item is copyrighted and is distributed with the clear understanding that its use for commercial and non-commercial purposes outside of public classrooms is forbidden. Individual students and teachers are specifically granted the right to use all materials for class assignments and lectures. Please contact Dr. Bowen for additional information concerning copyright issues and the development of commercial projects.

Bill and his wife Marilyn live in Northridge, California, near the university he served for thirty-four years. Bill was educated as a geographer at U.C. Berkeley. He was privileged to have taken courses from Professors Clarence Glacken, John Kesseli, Ted Oberlander, James Parsons, Carl Sauer, Hilgard Sternberg, James Vance, Gunther Barth, Peter Birkeland, J. B. Jackson, and George Stewart.
He joined the faculty at California State University, Northridge in 1970 and taught there until his retirement in 2004. Several years before his retirement, he decided to create the California Geographical Survey as a tool for better communicating his ideas and maps to students and other explorers who frequent the Web. He continues his work today at home, in a closet that contains two high-speed Macintosh computers.

Although educated as a cultural geographer and physical geographer in the Sauerian tradition, he has always been fascinated with maps. This evolving collection of photorealistic, panoramic maps of the earth's landscapes can be traced to an undergraduate map reading course taught by Professor John E. Kesseli in 1962 and a cartography course taught by Professor Ted Oberlander in the Spring of 1963. He is forever in the debt of these fine scholars and the many other teachers who touched his life.

Robert Provin has provided essential technical support to the California Geographical Survey since its beginnings. He is a true scholar and valued colleague whose patient good thoughts and intelligence have kept the web service alive during challenging times.
Robert is the senior scientific technician of the Department of Geography, a highly regarded instructor, and an internationally renown expert in astronomical photography. He has made many contributions to that science and coauthored the influential Manual of Advanced Celestial Photography. This book has been called "the most comprehensive book on astrophotography ever published." He and his coauthor Brad Willis are currently completing another volume entitled From Silver to Silicon. His photography may be seen on the Web at ( ). Robert is a graduate of California State University Northridge, where he earned both his Baccalaureate and Masters degrees.