Bluesky’s Old Aerial Photos Help Geomatics Students to understand features on unprocessed aerial images

Leicestershire, UK, 09 January 2013 - Historical aerial  photographs are being used by undergraduates at Nottingham Trent University to  help them understand some of the essential facets of remote sensing technology.  Images from the Bluesky archive are used to demonstrate the effects of  topography and other features on unprocessed aerial images and help students  understand the process of orthorectification. Aerial photographs are also used  for research activities, specifically the mapping and monitoring of land cover  and erosion in areas of upland peat, and the identification and examination of sites of potential archaeological interest on the university campus.
“Bluesky has an extensive archive that is easily interrogated via  an online search engine,” commented Dr Ben Clutterbuck, Lecturer in GIS and  Remote Sensing Technologies at Nottingham Trent University. “As camera  calibration data are provided with images obtained from OldAerialPhotos, we can demonstrate how orthorectification of the imagery removes distortion introduced by the camera system and varied topography.”

“Imagery supplied by  Bluesky also feeds into modules examining upland geomorphological processes,”  continued Dr Clutterbuck. “For example, from a recent requisition of imagery we  have been able to quantify the short-term progression of a ‘bog burst’ – a mass  movement of blanket peat often initiated by a rapid intense rainfall event. By  feeding current research into our teaching activities we can keep module content  fresh, up to date and
therefore interesting.”

The  imagery supplied by Bluesky to Nottingham Trent University forms part of an  historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial  aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national  archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and  utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, the images are an  invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local  studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town  planning.

Visitors to can search through  more than a million aerial photos dating back as far as 1917 by simply entering  a postcode, address or grid reference. Detailed search results, including the  age and ground coverage, of every image that matches the search criteria are  displayed and the visitor can choose to purchase a hard copy print, digital  image file or money saving  photopack.


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