In 1976, the Ministère des Affaires culturelles (MAC) embarked on a major undertaking aimed at identifying Quebec's heritage resources. The goal was to obtain, as rapidly as possible, an overview of the rich heritage and to designate concentrations or themes likely to be the object of further study. Taking available financial and human resources into account, we developed the macro-inventory, which deals not only with history and ethnology but also with architecturallandscapes and archaeology. This multidisciplinary approach made extensive use of aerial photography, which rapicily formed the cornerstone of the macro-inventory. In fact, never before had aerial photography been used so extensively for identifying heritage resources. Each municipality in Quebec (over 1 600) was systematically photographed. In alI, more than 300 000 photographs (20 cm x 30 cm) were taken, and various specialists developed data bases from this material. In using the macro-inventory, it soon became obvious that it was an extremely effective basic tool. It has the advantage of being essentially neutral since it offers a bird's-eye view of nation's heritage in a form that is neither idealized nor schematic. Aerial photography, as a heritage inventory tool, has made an outstanding contribution to the rapid, yet exhaustive, identification of heritage resources in an aera as vast as Québec. The airplane has made it possible to accomplish in six years what would normally have taken 20 years at much more exorbitant costs. The aerial photography inventory has a number of different applications and can be used within the framework of projects related to survey and national development.