Tag Archives: airphotos

Is the color spectrum arbitrary?

The following video from The Atlantic Monthly explains why the ROYGBIV division of the visible color spectrum is arbitrary. This is interesting to think about when dealing with different types of aerial photo imagery. We always need to create categories to understand the data we are trying to analyze.


Aerial Photo Study Sites

Here is a map of the four sites that we will be using to study how the appearance changes with different kinds of imagery over the course of the semester.

20130911_100814Here  is the view north from the dam at the Waynesboro Reservoir.

20130911_101046And, thanks to Robert Voneida, I learned how to take panaromic pictures on my cellphone.



Aerial Photos on the Ground

In yesterday’s lab we visited several sites to compare today’s ground cover with that of the aerial photos. Given that the photos were taken in 1977, there have been significant changes in the vegetation since then.  Each of the map markers has photos of the sites today. Some details of the stops follow:

  • Waynesboro Dam Using the dam and reservoir it is easy to orient the photo. The clearcut to the northeast stands out.
  • Buffer Strip / Harvest Border The pole-sized stand that has grown from the clearcut is clearly visible today. The straight logging trail is still visible today. The buffer strip has continued growing. Today gaps have developed in the stand as trees have died.
  • Pipeline Climbing east from Old Forge Rd on the pipeline the harvest block on the west side of the road is clearly still visible today.
  • Golf Course The golf course and the adjacent Ralph Brock Seed Orchard combine to make unique landmarks. The golf course has been maintained in the same condition for many years.
  • Mont Alto State Park The pavilion in the Mont Alto State Park stands out on the ground, but is harder to see from an aerial photo. Parts of it are overtopped by nearby trees. The dark green color of the roof make it harder to see on a black and white photo.

For the last two sites visited more detail can be seen on the larger scale photos than on the smaller scale photos. The hilly nature of the landscape can’t be easily seen on the aerial photos. With stereoscopic viewing the landscape will pop out.

Click here to see the sites on Microsoft Bing Maps. Bing Maps has different imagery and very detailed birds’ eye views for this area.