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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.”

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Following an exclusive agreement between aerial survey specialist Bluesky and Getmapping the original images that make up the Millennium Map will now be available fromwww.oldaerialphotos.com. Billed at the time as a modern day equivalent of the Domesday Book the Millennium Map was the first commercial countrywide survey and is credited with the popularisation of aerial photography with reader offers in daily newspapers and reports that the Queen had invested in the company.

The 120,000 images cover the whole of England and Wales, and parts of Scotland, at a resolution of 25cm with selected cities at up to 10cm resolution and date from 1999 to 2001. The agreement will also see Bluesky take delivery of the original aerial survey films that will be held at their secure archive facility in Leicestershire.

“As some of these images are more than ten years old their inclusion on the Old Aerial Photos website, the home of historical aerial photography in the UK, seemed an obvious addition to existing sales channels,” commented Pete Bonham, Business Manager at Getmapping. “By storing the original films at Bluesky’s dedicated archive centre we are also helping to preserve them for future generations.”

“Having been part of the team that created the Millennium Map we are delighted that an agreement has been made to allow them to be stored at the Bluesky offices with other important archives,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky. “By moving the original films to archive facility we can speed up the order fulfilment process and ensure they are stored in the optimum conditions for longevity.”

Visitors to http://www.oldaerialphotos.com can already search through over 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.

Photos that are available to purchase from http://www.oldaerialphotos.com include some of the very 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.

We have just added another 15000 photo details to the OldAerialPhotos.com website. These are all black and white and taken in the 1980s and early 1990s.  They cover Cornwall, Norfolk, Cardiff, Tyne and Wear, Cleveland, Manchester and Liverpool.  Some are at a very high scale of 1:3000, so will offer unprecedented detail. For more details please visit the Old Aerial Photos website, which offers almost 2 million historical aerial photos of the UK.  You can now order a preview of almost all of the photos online!

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!

More than 100,000 aerial photographs have been added to the Old Aerial Photos online collection of historically important images following an agreement with Land & Property Services (Northern Ireland) to supply the entire Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) photographic archive. The newly available archive includes complete countrywide coverage from 2002 onwards together with a vast array of mainly urban areas dating back to the 1950’s. With scales ranging from 1:20,000 up to 1:3,000 visitors to www.oldaerialphotos.com will be able to view and download images to help with boundary or property disputes, site investigation, historical research or genealogical studies.

“We hope that this agreement will encourage greater uptake and use of our vast historical archive,” commented Philip Goss, Copyright and Contract Manager at Land & Property Services. “Bluesky, who manage Old Aerial Photos, has an excellent reputation as an experienced supplier of historical imagery and already hold the largest archive of historical imagery in the UK. This agreement will build on this position and will further help Bluesky grow their immense archive making them a one stop shop for aerial photography in Britain and Northern Ireland.” Philip added, “Aerial photography was first used as a source for mapping information in 1958 following a decision to create a new map reference system, the Irish Grid, which would enable seamless coverage of the Country, More recently air photography has also been used for the generation of various products including orthophotography, a seamless detailed scaled photograph of Northern Ireland.”

Visitors to www.oldaerialphotos.com can already 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 either a hard copy print or digital image file.

Photos that are available to purchase from http://www.oldaerialphotos.com 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.