Pre-war aerial image in Brisbane showing character houses

How to research pre-1947 character houses

How to use Brisbane City Council map to show pre-war houses:

The Brisbane City Council Interactive Mapping includes a 1946 aerial image that can demonstrate quite quickly if the house is was built in or before 1946. The BCC mapping will be your first point of call to identify whether the house was built in 1946 or earlier. It can also help identify what parts of the house are original and what parts might have been added later. You can access the Interactive mapping here: and the imagery can be found in the right-hand column ‘map tools’.

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Helpful tip: Sometimes it can be hard to see the aerial imagery with the property boundary and labels on, so try turning them off by clicking in the Map Tools in the right-hand side column to see if you can get a more clear image.

Just be cautious, even if a building is not in the 1946 aerial imagery, the images are from May 1946 so it could have built between May-December, or potentially moved onto the site still making it a pre-war building on a site in a TBC overlay which gives it protection.


Q-imagery is an online collection of aerial imagery taken across multiple years, with images as early as the 1930s of Brisbane neighbourhoods. This mapping is helpful in demonstrating additions and alterations aren’t original to character housing. You can access Q-imagery here: and searching the tool is fairly self-explanatory.

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Helpful tip: If you have any trouble using Q-Imagery, they have a great self-help menu which can be found by clicking the ‘Help’ icon in the bottom left corner of the screen when you open up the tool

Some of the images in Q-Imagery are not aligned to the cadastre property so we recommend finding a landmark in the images to locate your property.

Learn more about character housing in Brisbane by completing our short course:

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