Aerial photography is an art, science, and technology that involves taking photographs from an aircraft or other airborne platform. It requires the use of a high-precision camera mounted on an airplane or helicopter to capture images from the air. These photographs are usually taken vertically, with the camera pointing downwards, as opposed to oblique photographs that are taken at an angle. The first recorded aerial photograph was taken in the late 19th century by French photographer Gaspar Felix Tournachon, who patented the concept of using aerial photographs to compile maps.
Cameras of various types are used to take aerial photographs, and they use Aerial Film, which is a roll film with high sensitivity, high intrinsic resolution power and dimensionally stable emulsion support. In recent years, the use of RC helicopters as reliable aerial photography tools has increased with the integration of FPV (first-person vision) technology. Additionally, satellite images are also used for aerial photography. These sensors record the energy reflected or emitted in the visible, near-infrared and thermal-infrared parts of the spectrum.
The data from satellite scanners is usually displayed as images whose colors resemble those of aerial photographs in infrared color, but the colors of a given image can be manipulated with a computer to improve the characteristics of the landscape. Side-facing airborne radar (SLAR) instruments installed on aircraft or satellites generate their own energy, which is recorded when reflected on them from the ground. This eliminates problems associated with cloud cover and fog. The oblique angle of the instrument that looks from the side produces images that are especially useful for analyzing geographical features. The National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) was established in 1987 to coordinate aerial photography in the United States between federal and state agencies.
An aerial study has several factors, and all of them must be taken into account to ensure that the data are adequate to extrapolate the information needed for the final product. Aerial imagery goes beyond the use of a fixed-wing aircraft, a rotating boat, or a flying drone to take these images. An example of how aerial photography is used in the field of archaeology is the cartographic project carried out at the Angkor Borei site, in Cambodia, between 1995 and 1996. A small pothole at ground level can be made more significant in a larger context, or aerial images can see and map a particular area that is difficult or impossible to reach on foot. The Geological Survey (USGS), which began using aerial photographs for mapping in the 1930s, archives photographs of its mapping projects and those of other federal agencies. This category includes satellite images and photographs of aircraft from some states, cities, regions and locations in the United States and of natural phenomena such as fires and volcanic eruptions. Aerial photography can be labeled with leafless leaves or with leaves placed to indicate if there is deciduous foliage in the photograph. This helps to provide more accurate information about what is being photographed. In conclusion, aerial photography is an invaluable tool for mapping geographical features and analyzing landscapes.
It can be used for a variety of purposes such as cartography, archaeology, surveillance and monitoring natural phenomena such as fires and volcanic eruptions.