Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is essential to the study of environmental conditions over large areas. It’s used in industries like mining and agriculture to survey existing landscape conditions. It’s used in third-world countries and after natural disasters to develop humanitarian aid plans. With accurate photography and aerial mapping, we can provide many important services to different parts of the world.

What is Aerial Photography?

Aerial photography is the process of taking photographs from the air. Photographs are typically taken from helicopters, light aircraft or high-tech drones to capture data that’s accurate and useful for research or studies. From the air, it’s often difficult to see features on the ground. What appears to be an insignificant landscape feature at ground level may turn out to be a very important feature from a larger aerial view. Aerial photography makes it possible to see landscapes that can’t be accessed on foot, and images provide clear, accurate details needed for landscape studies and mapping.

How is Aerial Photography Done?

Aerial photographs are taken in two basic forms – oblique and vertical. Although each form has different applications, both are usually shot in black and white because the contrast makes it easier to distinguish different images and features on the ground.

Oblique Photographs

Typically taken at a 45 degree angle, oblique photographs are used to show the best view of a landscape feature and surrounding areas. Oblique photography is usually taken at a lower elevations than vertical photography. It’s often used in archaeology, mining and land surveys to show specific details like ground erosion. Although these images show more detail, they can have problems with perspective. The farther away a feature is, the smaller it will appears, while nearer features will appear larger. To avoid perspective problems, oblique photographs typically use a frame of reference on the ground.

Vertical Photographs

Vertical photographs are the most widely used form of aerial photography. They’re shot from overhead, straight down and show a plan view of the landscape without perspective and depth. Although there’s less distortion with this view, it’s more difficult to read the layout of the land and distinguish changes in height or depth. Vertical photography is used for many different applications. It presents a wider aerial view that focuses on topography instead of specific details. These images can be taken from helicopters, aircraft and drones and present clear overhead views that are very useful for mapping.

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