This April we are once again blogging along with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Our team of one-place studiers will be sharing some of the treasures to be found for a one-place study, particularly around the theme of Visualisation, our Shared Endeavour for 2016.
Looking at our places from above is an excellent way of visualising the community that we are studying. It, quite literally, gives a different perspective, helping us to understand the proximity and relationship between buildings and natural features. How far away was a farm from its neighbours? How close was the river, railway or road? Where are the clusters of buildings? Of course maps give some of this information too but an aerial photograph brings the details to life. A map cannot show crop marks, which may indicated former features, in the way that aerial photography can.
If your place is in Britain, take a look at the Britain from Above website. Of course Google Earth (or Earth view in Google Maps) will provide world-wide aerial views and other features are also available. The recent craze for drones also means that Youtube videos are beginning to appear that allow us to view places from above. I am very fortunate that this has been done for one of my places.
Similar to aerial photographs are LIDAR images. These, Wikipedia tells us, are the result of a “surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light.” This penetrates through the ground cover to reveal features that might be hidden by trees in aerial photographs. It is worth finding out if your area has been surveyed in this way and if so, how the images can be accessed.