Aboard a tethered balloon, from an altitude of nearly 500 meters, when Gaspard-Félix “Nadar” Tournachon photographed Paris from above was the moment when we can trace the roots of aerial photography right back to 1858.
Before airplanes entered the picture, photos were being taken from kites and pigeons, but it was the world’s first bird’s-eye view that was the image that opened the door to new possibilities. Aerial images can now capture even the tiniest geographic details all around the world due to the advent of satellites, aircraft, drones and high-definition cameras that we have at our disposal.
From the convenience of a mobile device, the visualisation, evaluation, and measurement of landscape data with precision is now possible across a wide range of industries including government, construction, engineering, real estate, transportation, mapping, and solar, all made possible by 3D aerial photography.
However, aerial photography is doing much more than you would expect. Aerial photography is playing a vital role in preserving the future of the environment with applications in reducing emissions, protecting natural resources, and documenting the effects of climate change.
Dynamic aerial imagery that helps visualise every aspect of a 3D landscape is made possible by how they can be accessed by mobile devices anywhere in the world. Having remote access to these details means that professionals and public servants don’t have to travel to survey the locations at which they’re working.
To measure for available parking lot space around a new site an architecture firm planning a new building can use aerial photography for example. To get that kind of information they would, ordinarily, have to travel to the site multiple times. But access to aerial imagery gives them confidence about the feasibility of their project and allows them to move forward faster.
Protecting Natural Resources
To maintain stable communities and environments it is crucial that we must protect our natural resources. The natural site is a stable environment before urban development takes place, according to bodies like the Georgia Forestry Commission.
But human activity throws off that balance. By providing current and detailed imagery to preserve ecological harmony aerial photography can help to prevent damage and waste to natural resources.
Planners can verify that environmental regulations are met, help enforce minimal risk, assess inventory, and size a project accurately all because of this high-tech advantage and all from their desktops or mobile devices.
Documenting The Effects Of Climate Change
“The effects of climate change happen on such a slow time scale that it is often difficult to document visually,” says Josh Haner, a New York Times photographer.
“As a result, I believe a lot of the climate change imagery we have become accustomed to has focused on polar bears floating on pieces of sea ice, or on calving glaciers.” Haner adds. “That type of repetitive imagery has made people numb to a lot of the important stories about how our changing climate is affecting people and places around the world.”
To give people a more accurate perspective, Haner has been documenting the effects of climate change with stunning photography for the past four years. Aerial photography can similarly help viewers understand climate change more accurately.
Aerial photography can make comparisons simple by recording changes season after season. You can see the effects of droughts and flooding, soil and geology, vegetation, and water. You can not only visualize but also measure these changes. When you understand the changes, you are better able to get to the heart of the problem and make plans to combat those changes.
Aerial photography has made a more critical difference than Tournachon may have imagined from that first aerial picture of Paris and how it has evolved to today’s highly detailed 3D imagery. By reducing emissions, protecting natural resources, and documenting the effects of climate change, aerial photography is empowering us to preserve our environment, one picture at a time.
Words by Elijah (Content Marketer) via Sustainability Times.