Bing Blogs: Did somebody say more Bird’s Eye imagery?. “The Bing Maps team continues to release more stunning high-resolution oblique (45-degree angle) aerial Bird’s Eye imagery. This most recent wave of Bird’s Eye imagery that was released over the last several months represents over 80,000 square kilometers of new imagery spanning 100+ cities in the United States. In case you missed it, you can find details on previous Bird’s Eye imagery releases in our blog posts from July 2019 and November 2019. With over 300 cities in the United States with new Bird’s Eye imagery, the Bing Maps team will keep rolling out more Bird’s Eye imagery over the coming months and beyond.”
Sapiens: Spy Plane Photos Open Windows Into Ancient Worlds . “The U.S. government declassified many U-2 images in 1997, making them freely available to researchers and the public. But they remained unindexed and unscanned. There was no way to access the images digitally, nor could people know where geographically each roll of film was taken or highlight the particularly interesting frames. In the past four years, my archaeologist colleague Jason Ur at Harvard University and I (a landscape archaeologist) have worked to make this complex photo archive accessible to other researchers and to illustrate its importance for history and anthropology. The result is a resource that we hope many scholars can take advantage of, a window into ancient sites as well as historical Middle Eastern communities as they existed more than half a century ago.”
Google Blog: 1,000 of the most stunning landscapes in Google Earth. “Earth View is a collection of thousands of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, seen from space…. Today, we’re making our biggest update to Earth View by adding more than 1,000 new images to the collection, bringing the total to more than 2,500 striking landscapes.”
British Library: Layers of London: the latest. “Layers of London, a website home to more than 200 georeferenced maps of London and 1000s of crowdsourced histories, have now launched the latest pillar of their mission, the Layermaker, where anyone can log in to try their hand at georeferencing one (or one thousand) of these aerial images of London. Using the same platform as the British Library’s georeferencer, the user friendly tool makes it simple for anyone to contribute to this project.”
University of Maine: James W. Sewall Co. donates approximately 1 million aerial images to Raymond H. Fogler Library. “Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine has received a donation of over 3,000 rolls of film containing about 1 million aerial images from the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town, Maine. The collection contains original aerial photography of Maine and New England captured by Sewall over the span of 65 years. The archive will offer researchers and the public a vast collection that details changes to Maine’s landscapes and cities over the past century.”
Government Technology: Subscription Service Offers Government High-Res Aerial Pics. “At a time when short-range drones and satellite birds-eye views are commonplace, one Colorado-based company, Vexcel Imaging, is putting its proprietary cameras on airplanes to capture ultra-high-resolution data of the United States for sale by subscription to state and local governments.”
Bing Blogs: We’ve Released New Bird’s Eye Imagery! . “Bing Maps was one of the first mapping services on the web to offer oblique 45-degree angle aerial imagery, also known as Bird’s Eye. Bing Maps is still as committed as ever to offering fresh high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery. Over the last 12 months we’ve been busy releasing refreshed and expanded Bird’s Eye imagery and we want to make sure our customers and users are aware of the progress we’ve been making. In this effort, we’re excited to say we’ve released approximately 102,000 square kilometers of new Bird’s Eye imagery spanning 100+ cities in the United States over the last several months with more to come.”
Ars Technica: Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past. “During the 1950s and 1960s, US spy planes made regular flights across Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, photographing the terrain to track military targets. A chunk of the Middle Eastern photographs were declassified in 1997, and now those airborne images are helping archaeologists track changing features in the landscape that in many cases are no longer visible today, according to a new paper published in Advances in Archaeological Practice.”
Malta Today: Drones will map out 2,500 kilometres of Malta’s roads for new database. “Aerial photos of over 2,500 kilometres of roads in Malta and Gozo will be captured by specialised drones during the next few weeks, starting from the northern parts of Malta. These images will then be processed to develop a new Geographic Information System (GIS) containing orthophoto maps of Malta’s road network as well as digital road surface models, road condition and damage data that can be used to establish reconstruction prioritisation levels.” I had never heard the term “orthophoto” before, but GIS Lounge enlightened me.
University of Cambridge: Britain from the air: 1945-2009. “Aerial photographs of Britain from the 1940s to 2009 – dubbed the ‘historical Google Earth’ by Cambridge academics – have been made freely available to everyone on Cambridge University Library’s ground-breaking Digital Library.”
IT News: NSW Spatial Services turns $60m image archive into free 3D models. “The official public source of land information in NSW, Spatial Services, is turning its 70-year backlog of aerial photography into a 3D digital database for developers, conservationists and historians to understand how the state has changed.”
New Atlas: Better-performing mapping system searches the streets. “When it comes to making city maps based on aerial photos, manually tracing all the roads can be quite the hassle. As a result, we’re now seeing computer programs that do so automatically. Scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a program of their own, that is promised to be even better at the job.”
Nature: Rescued radar maps reveal Antarctica’s past. “Glaciologists will soon have a treasure trove of data for exploring how Antarctica’s underbelly has changed over nearly half a century. An international team of researchers has scanned and digitized 2 million records from pioneering aeroplane radar expeditions that criss-crossed the frozen continent in the 1960s and 1970s.”
Yet ANOTHER new Web site (I’m kind of flunking the summary writing originality this morning) will house aerial photography of Waikato, New Zealand. “Online access to a bird’s eye historical view of much of the Waikato region is progressively being made available as part of a leading edge national aerial photography project. Waikato Local Authority Shared Services Ltd (Waikato LASS) – owned by the region’s councils – has supported the creation of the Retrolens website so that hundreds of thousands of historic digitised images can be freely accessed. The new website… will contain aerial images taken across the country from the 1930s to the 1990s.”
From The High-Tech Hobbyist: Tutorial: How to Create Interactive 360 Degree Panoramas for Facebook. “We’ve all seen those amazing interactive images on Facebook by now: beautiful 360 degree panoramas shot from a drone. Whether of a bustling city or a quiet country landscape, they all make us feel like we’re there. After doing some some research, I have found little help on this subject. In this article, I’ll be doing a step-by-step tutorial to show you how to accomplish this. There’s the paid/easy way, or the free/more work way. I’ll be going over both methods.” Great article, but you’ll need a drone.