Historic England’s new Aerial Photo Explorer allows users access to an archive of some 400,000 digitized aerial photographs taken over the past century. From their announcement: “Aerial imagery provides a fascinating insight into the development and expansion of the nation’s urban centres and changes to the rural landscape. It can also reveal striking discoveries—such as ‘cropmarks’ showing hidden, archaeology beneath the surface.” I notice that it also includes aerial photos of World War II bomb damage.
Matt Nolan and his family have created a topographic map of Denali, the highest peak in North America, using a form of stereo photogrammetry Nolan calls fodar: they repeatedly overflew the peak in a small airplane and took photos of the terrain below with a digital SLR. The end result is a 20-cm terrain model they’re touting as the best ever of the mountain, far more detailed than previous maps. Nolan outlines their endeavour in two blog posts: one focusing on the personal, the other on the technical; the latter also has lots of terrain models and comparisons with USGS data.
Daily Overview is a website that curates spectacular aerial and satellite imagery. Founded by Benjamin Grant, and inspired by the Overview Effect—”the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole,” it’s available in virtually every social media format out there; a book, Overview, came out in October 2016. [WMS]
A 2016 aerial survey of ten sites in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve used LIDAR to digitally remove the tree canopy from the landscape, revealing, National Geographic reports, “the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed”—and one that likely supported a much higher population than previously thought. The survey and its findings are the subject of a documentary special premiering tomorrow on the National Geographic channel. More coverage: CBC News, The New York Times, The Verge, The Washington Post.
Bing Maps is still trucking along, even if Apple and Google take up most of the oxygen in the online mapping space these days. Two weeks ago the Bing Maps team marked the 450th location to receive oblique “Bird’s Eye” imagery. All the cities listed as receiving new oblique imagery are in the United States.
A fascinating story from the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s Robinson Map Library, in which map and geospatial librarian Jaime Martindale used aerial photos held in the library to help a patron track down the site of a 1966 bomber crash in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. Neat stuff. [History of Cartography Project]
Using an interactive interface to compare present-day and historical maps and aerial imagery is done all the time—on this website I use a slider plugin—but Chris Whong’s Urban Scratchoff uses a familiar metaphor to compare present-day aerial images of New York City with imagery from 1924. Give it a try. More on how Chris did it. [via]