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Old Aerial Photos on display at Conkers – the heart of the National Forest

Aerial photographs are being used to promote and preserve South Derbyshire’s mining heritage. The images, donated by aerial mapping company Bluesky, illustrate the changes in environment in what was once England’s mining heartland. On display at CONKERS, the award winning attraction at the heart of the National Forest, the images form an integral part of a display of mining memorabilia and artefacts collected and maintained by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

The two Bluesky aerial photographs depict the site of CONKERS as it was more than forty years ago and as it is now. The first, taken in 1971, shows the Rawdon Colliery and surrounding area complete with spoil heap and nearby clay workings. In comparison the second image, taken in 2011, clearly shows the CONKERS building and its contrasting surroundings of open green space and trees. The images titled ‘CONKERS; then and now’ are part of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservations Group’s collection on daily show at the Mining Display Room, CONKERS.

“We are a group of ex miners and their wives who are trying to preserve and promote the local mining heritage. Over the last twenty or so years, since the mines have closed, we have been extremely blessed with donations of books, badges, certificates, clothing and items which we are pleased to be able to display at CONKERS,” commented Keith Moore Secretary of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

“However, as a non-profit making organisation we rely on donations of both artefacts and finances from the public and businesses and we are extremely grateful to Bluesky for the donation of these extremely informative and engaging aerial images.”

The modern aerial photograph supplied by Bluesky was taken from their off the shelf archive which covers the whole of England, Scotland and Wales. Continuously updated on a five year rolling data capture programme the high resolution digital images files are available in a range of formats suitable for use in desktop mapping, GIS and CAD software packages as well as hard copy prints.

The 1970’s image 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, OldAerialPhotos 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.

Both modern and historic images from Bluesky are available to view and purchase online at http://www.bluesky-world.com/mapshop and http://www.oldaerialphotos.com, respectively.

 

 

Old Aerial Photos Pack

Historical aerial photographs are being used by a Lincolnshire Council to provide evidence in planning disputes and public enquiries. Purchased by South Kesteven District Council the OldAerialPhotos have been used to provide evidence of unauthorised land use and to locate the exact position and extent of historical boundaries. Supplied by aerial mapping company Bluesky the photographs are accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity stating the images have not been altered from their original state and were exposed on the date stated – an essential feature for legal proceedings.
“We have used historical images from Bluesky on a number of occasions as they provide crucial evidence in a wide range of cases including unauthorised land use, illegal garden extensions and unauthorised buildings” commented Mick Clift, Planning Enforcement Officer at South Kesteven District Council. “The pictures complete with Letters of Authenticity, are easy to interpret and provide appropriate visual and factual evidence of the dates when the photographs were taken especially in Public Inquiries regarding planning investigations. This has proved invaluable when dealing with such litigious cases.”

The imagery supplied by Bluesky to South Kesteven District Council forms part of an historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photographs 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.

In legal proceedings it is essential that all parties have confidence in the evidence placed before them. In the case of aerial photographs, such as those used by South Kesteven Council, this confidence must extend to the fact that the photographs have not been altered from their original state and were exposed on the date stated. The Letter of Authenticity supplied by Bluesky states that photographic prints and scans provided by OldAerialPhotos.com are scanned from original negatives or provided as an original digital image. OldAerialPhotos.com also guarantee that they are not altered or manipulated in any way and can be fully authenticated with date and time of exposure.

“In all our dealings with Bluesky we have received excellent service,” concluded Mr Clift. “The OldAerialPhotos team are always willing to help locate a site and identify a suitably dated image and our orders are dispatched on time.”

Historical aerial photos are used to help study land forms and geomorphology

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 http://www.oldaerialphotos.com 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.

 

As debate rages over new planning rules being proposed under the government’s Localism Bill old aerial photographs are helping homeowners resolve issues with the current system. Judith Norris Limited, a small multidisciplinary practice specialising in rural planning, regularly uses images from the OldAerialPhotos archive to glean evidence of a building’s former use or extent as well as identifying areas of potential archaeological interest. The date certified photographs are proving invaluable when proving periods of immunity in cases where strict time restrictions apply.

Aerial Photo from the OAP archive

“One area where photographic records are particularly important is for certificates of lawful use or development,” commented Judith Norris, Chartered Surveyor and Director of the Sussex based practice. “Recent cases included photographic evidence of land, close to a house, being used as part of the residential curtilage while another case related to an historic barn. Using the images supplied by Bluesky we were able to prove that the building had been extended at some point in the past although the extension had since been demolished. This evidence helped agree the principle of another, modest, extension.”

Aerial photographs dating back as far as the 1970’s, or further, can provide crucial evidence of when a building or extension was erected and when it was demolished. Other key features than can be evidenced from the historic images include field boundaries, rights of way, husbandry changes, land use and property boundaries. Bluesky supply the accurately dated historic aerial photographs from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence for further investigation by homeowners or professional practitioners such as Judith Norris Ltd.

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of 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.
“It is always a pleasure to work with Bluesky and we appreciate the friendly and efficient service we receive,” concluded Ms Norris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old aerial photographs are providing crucial information for global real estate services provider Savills. The photographs are proving useful in helping clients realise development potential and avoid risks.

“The photographs from the OldAerialPhotos archive can be crucial to a project’s success,” commented a Savills Director. “They provide undisputable evidence that is easy to understand, interpret and communicate to all interested parties. The website is easy to use, the turnaround on orders is fast and the service offered by Bluesky is cost effective.”

Aerial photographs dating back to the 1970’s, and beyond, can provide crucial evidence of when a building or extension was erected or when it was demolished. Other key features can also be evidenced from the historic images. Bluesky supply the accurately dated historic aerial photographs from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence for further investigation by homeowners or professional practitioners such as Savills.

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of 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 www.oldaerialphotos.com 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.

 

Here at Old Aerial Photos we have extended our social media wings and, as well as blogging, we are now tweeting and you can find us on Facebook.  We aim to post regular snippets of information and of course any interesting aerial photos that we come across in the archives. Please keep up to date and  join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Bluesky's Hasselblad camera

Bluesky is accelerating the digitisation of its archive of historically important aerial photographs of the UK following the acquisition of a new camera from the same range used by NASA on the Apollo space missions. The high end DSLR Hasselblad camera is being used to photograph original survey films dating back to the 1940s in order to make the images available to view and purchase online. Using the new camera Bluesky can capture high resolution images in a fraction of the time it currently takes to scan each frame meaning they can be offered at the lowest ever price.

“Using the Hasselblad we can process an entire film in a matter of minutes compared to the many hours it would take to scan,” commented James Eddy, Technical Director of Leicestershire based Bluesky. “This means that we can make more images instantly available for visitors to the OldAerialPhotos website to preview and offer them for sale at a reduced price. While this production method is suitable for 90 per cent of customers we can still offer scanned images for more technical applications as well as hard copy prints together with letters of authenticity and other professional services.”

Hasselblad cameras are considered market leaders and almost all of the still photographs taken during the Apollo space missions, including the first man on the moon, used modified Hasselblad cameras. The H4D-50MS being used by Bluesky has an extra large sensor – measuring twice the physical size of the largest 35mm DSLR sensors, as well as True Focus with Absolute Position Lock (APL) for accurate composing at close range with shallow depth-of-field. Combined with a high performance lens – the Hasselblad HC Macro 4/120mm – and a dedicated Apple iMac computer, Bluesky is achieving ultimate image quality and maximum performance.

“Each frame of film produces a photograph that is about 150Mb,” continued Eddy. “Our first priority is those films already referenced on the OldAerialPhotos website and we estimate these films will result in approximately 70Tb of data. The entire archive – currently over 1.5 million images dating back as far as 1917 – will be about 250Tb, more than four times the volume of all the images for Google Earth!”

The films being photographed using the Hasselblad camera and lens form part of an historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, the images being made available on http://www.oldaerialphotos.com 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. “As we will be updating the site with images on a regular bases we recommend visitors check in from time to time to see if their area of interest is covered,” concluded Eddy

A homeowner has used historic aerial photography to provide crucial evidence to support a planning application and overturn the local council’s plan to place a tree preservation order on trees within his garden. Bluesky supplied the historic aerial photography, complete with certificates of authentification, from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence to support the homeowner’s claim that the trees in his garden were in fact self seeded and did not historically form part of neighbouring woodland.

“We acquired the property several years ago when it was uninhabitable and virtually derelict,” commented homeowner Stuart Whelan, “and then since when we have spent a considerable amount of time and money bringing it back to it’s former glory – a fact that has been appreciated by our neighbours as it has a prominent position within the village.”

Mr Whelan continued, “When we submitted the planning application for a garage within our garden to Rushcliffe Borough Council we assumed it was just a formality. However when this was refused, on the grounds that the site was considered woodland, we were very concerned. If we allowed the classification to stand it would seriously impede on our ability to use the land as garden and continue with our regeneration of the site.”

The Bluesky images formed part of a seventy three page document presented by Mr Whelan to the Council outlining his objections to the ‘woodland’ Tree Preservation Order. The images from 1978, 1991, 1999 and 2007 clearly show both the property and garden falling into a state of disrepair with adjacent woodland gradually ‘taking over’ the garden.

“The Council simply couldn’t argue with the photographic evidence placed before them,” concluded Mr Whelan. “The images were therefore instrumental in achieving an agreement with the Council and the order was changed from a blanket ban to a group order naming specific trees. This provides protection for the trees we love yet allows us to use our garden as a garden.”

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of 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.

Aerial photography dating back to the 1940s has provided crucial evidence in a long running battle for public access to a historic site on Dartmoor, England. A Planning Inquiry has ruled in favour of the landowner who bought the land around Vixen Tor in 2003, closing off access to the general public. The order to open two paths across the land was made by Devon County Council with support from The Ramblers (formerly the Ramblers Association) and the British Mountaineering Council. Following the recent ruling by the Planning Inspectorate this order has now been rescinded.

Bluesky supplied the historic aerial photography complete with certificates of authentification from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence for further investigation by Air Photo Services, a company that offers specialist interpretation of aerial imagery, consultancy and expert witness services. Director Chris Cox commented, “Acting as an Expert Witness and working on behalf of my client, I was able to establish, using the historic images, that a footpath was not visible in the alleged place. I conducted comparative analysis on other visible paths in the area from the 1940s to the present day to support this claim.”

She continued, “The fact that Bluesky were able to supply a full range of appropriately dated and authenticated images in a timely fashion meant that I could undertake detailed analysis, preparing a comprehensive report within the short timescales imposed by the Inquiry.”

Planning Inspector Mark Yates ruled that there was not enough evidence to show continuous use of the paths during the twenty years prior to their closure. He said, “I accept that people have walked to Vixen Tor and used routes through the enclosure. However, I am not satisfied that the evidence of public use presented to the inquiry is sufficient to demonstrate the dedication of this route in common law.”

This is a second inquiry that has upheld the rights of farmer Mrs Mary Alford. A previous Inquiry, seen as one of the most important test cases for the Right to Roam legislation, ruled that the public did not have an automatic right of way across the land.

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of historically important UK 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 http://www.oldaerialphotos.com can search 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 photopack which includes historical and current day photos as well as certificates of authentification.

Visitors to the Old Aerial Photos website will, from today, see an improvement on how the website searches for you chosen location.  Rather than searching the entire map window you now place a cross-hair over your chosen location and search. The results shown to you will only cover this location, so the results list is much smaller, and concise, making it easier for you to make a decision.

These changes have been made following feedback from our users.  The previous method presented far too many photos, which did not always cover the area of interest, and caused great confusion.  We are continually making changes to the website and updating the content, so please do have another look at it, if you haven’t been for a while.  After all it is THE home of old and historical photos in the UK.

Remember we have lots of photos not on the website, so if you can’t find what you need, then please give us a call on 01530 518528.

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