Home Articles Small Format Aerial Photography

Small Format Aerial Photography

W. S. Warner, R. W. Graham and R. E. Read

Whittles Publishing,
Scotland, UK.1996.
348 pages, £52.50
ISBN 1-870325-56-7
Starting from the invention of aerial photography, much of the area on the surface of the earth has been mapped in conventional 1:50,000 scale and in some places even larger scales. In present world of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, when very high-resolution photographs are required for proper planning and development, this book has successfully conveyed the underlying principles, methods and applications of small format aerial photography (SFAP). Flying a conventional survey aircraft for high-resolution photographs is not only expensive but also time consuming, and that is why small format aerial photography becomes important. In this, a light aircraft can be fitted with a small format camera and GPS used for navigation and the result is very high-resolution photograph. The contents of the book are brought in three sections. The first section ‘Mapping and Measuring’ gives the basics of aerial photography and then explains the importance of SFAP and the survey techniques used for such SFAP. The second section ‘Aerial Photography Operations’ deals with the operational procedures, mission planning, camera principles, mounts, platforms etc. The final section describes the applications of small format aerial photography covering mainly urban survey, survey for natural resources, large scale map revision etc. Apart from that, some computer programmes for aerial surveys are also presented in the Appendix. The main highlight of the book is the comparison made between the SFAP and the conventional aerial photography. The effort of the authors is quite appreciable as the book does not advocate SFAP only, but also points out its flaws and limitations. This helps the readers to visualise the pros and cons of SFAP. Although the approach of the book is predominantly technical, but, it could have been more enriched with some additional information on important applications of SFAP, especially in mapping and management of wetland, wasteland, fallow land etc., environmental issues and hazard assessment. Despite these, the book as a whole, is a valuable compilation of enormous information that provides a complete overview of aerial photography operations using a small format camera.

GIS Development Staff