Skip navigation

Category Archives: General Info

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.

 

 

Advertisements

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

The Old Aerial Photos Legal Pack is proving to be a real winner among the legal profession, particularly in relation to boundary disputes and adverse possession. The pack contains all the photographic evidence you need to prove your boundary or land ownership issue.  The OAP pack contains a scanned and authenticated historical aerial photo of your choice, and print of an up to date photo as well as the historical photo. The authentication means that the photograph can be used of legal purposes in court. Additional historical aerial photos can be added for an extra fee.  These packs can be purchased on the OAP website www.oldaerialphotos.com or by calling 01530 518528.

If you require advice as to how an old aerial photo can help in legal cases, or if you require interpretation or even an expert witness, please contact our experts on 01530 518528.  The Old Aerial Photos service is run by Bluesky International Limited.

We have recently been working on a boundary dispute case involving an illegal extension, and much of the case had been built on the ‘evidence’ of Google Earth aerial photos, using the very cool time slider (have a look, it is great!).  But what we thought was an “open and shut case” actually ended up being far more complicated, because of the Google Earth data.  The dispute was in an area in London where there are several date of aerial photography available.  The 2003 photo showed no extension, but the 2006 photo showed it – sounds simple enough until you view the 1999 and 2002 photo, both of which clearly show the extension. One might assume it was demolished and rebuilt, but the answer is far simpler.  the 2003 photo was in fact taken in 2001.  To compound the problem it was claimed the extension was built in 2001, so why was it on the 1999 photo?  It transpires that the 1999 photo is the same aerial photo as the 2002 photo, which is dated correctly.  Confused…we were!

If you go to Google Earth and find the Gherkin in Central London then open the time slider you can watch the tower going through various stages of construction, in the wrong order!  Google Earth and  Bing Maps are fantastic resources and we have all lost hours just cruising around the globe looking for past holiday destinations and where our grandparents lives. But be aware that the dates and other information offered by Google (and Bing) are not always to be relied on.  The detail within the photos can also have been altered in the process of putting the data together; Photoshop is an amazing tool…so be warned!  Use Google Earth (and Google Maps for what they are intended, which is not legal disputes!

Our advice is to always use aerial photos from a source that can verify the photo for you. www.oldaerialphotos.com is the obvious place as we have the most on offer!

OldAerialPhotos.com a division of Bluesky International Limited has signed a reseller agreement with Landmark, Britain’s leading supplier of land and property search information. The deal will see the UK’s largest collection of historically important commercial aerial photographs being made available through the Envirocheck website further helping professional users to make informed decisions based on comprehensive environmental site assessment information. The million plus photographs, from the Old Aerial Photos archive, date back as far as 1917 and include some of the earliest commercial survey images, military photography and many national archives.

Envirocheck.co.uk brings together the best environmental information and digital mapping in one simple to use package. Delivering details of contaminated land, pollution, flooding and flood prevention schemes, landfill sites, hazardous substances, geological features and industrial or sensitive land uses, the basic Envirocheck report includes Data Sheets, Site Sensitivity Maps and Historical site plans.

The Old Aerial Photos images will be offered on the Envirocheck website as a value added service and registered users can select images from detailed search results, including the age and ground coverage of every image that matches the search criteria, with the file supplied as a digital image.

“Although often quoted it is none the less true ‘a picture (really does) paint a thousand words’ so the addition of the Old Aerial Photos to the Envirocheck solution will really help uncover and bring to life potentially important environmental information,” commented David Mole, Managing Director of Landmark Environment.

Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky commented, “This is an important agreement for the future development and preservation of the archive. Landmark is a leader in the field of land and property search information and the interest they can generate will be used to further enhance the collection.”

Old Aerial Photos that are available to purchase from Envirocheck.co.uk include 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.

OldAerialPhotos.com is a division of Bluesky International Limited.