Nineteenth Century

Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre invented photography based on silver-coated copper plates in the 1830s, and this process was published by the French government in 1839

FIGURE 1-4 Bird's-eye view of Niagara Falls, Canada, and the United States. George Catlin, 1827, gouache, ~45 x 39 cm. Adapted from Dippie et al. (2002, p. 36).

(Romer, 2007). The earliest known attempt to take aerial photographs was made by Colonel Aime Laussedat of the French Army Corps of Engineers (Wolf and Dewitt, 2000). In 1849, he experimented with kites and balloons, but was unsuccessful. The first documented aerial photograph was taken from a balloon in 1858 by Gaspard Felix Tournachon, later known as "Nadar" (Colwell, 1997). He ascended in a tethered balloon to a height of several hundred meters and photographed the village of Petit Bicetre, France. Later that same year, Laussedat again tried to use a glass-plate camera lifted by several kites (Colwell, 1997), but it is uncertain if he was successful. The oldest surviving airphoto was taken by S.A. King and J.W. Black from a balloon in 1860 over Boston, Massachusetts (Jensen, 2007).

Hydrogen-filled balloons were utilized for observations of enemy positions during the American Civil War (1861— 1865); photographs reputedly were taken, although none have survived (Jensen, 2007). Meanwhile, Tournachon continued his experiments with balloons and aerial photography in France with limited success. In 1887, a German forester obtained airphotos from a balloon for the purpose of identifying and measuring stands of forest trees (Colwell, 1997).

Already in the 1850s, stereophotography was practiced, and new types of glass led to modern anastigmatic camera lenses by 1890 (Zahorcak, 2007). Experimental color photography was conducted by F.E. Ives in the 1890s (Romer, 2007).

Types Aerial Photographs

FIGURE 1-5 Schematic illustration of the ''multi'' approach for remote sensing of the Earth's surface from above. Multiple types of platforms and instruments operating at multiple heights. SFAP as emphasized in this book deals primarily with the ultra-low height range of observations. Not to scale, adapted from Avery and Berlin (1992, fig. 1-1).

FIGURE 1-5 Schematic illustration of the ''multi'' approach for remote sensing of the Earth's surface from above. Multiple types of platforms and instruments operating at multiple heights. SFAP as emphasized in this book deals primarily with the ultra-low height range of observations. Not to scale, adapted from Avery and Berlin (1992, fig. 1-1).

Considerable debate and uncertainty surround the question of who was first to take aerial photographs from a kite. By some accounts, the first person was the British meteorologist E.D. Archibald, as early as 1882 (Colwell, 1997). He is credited with taking kite aerial photographs in 1887 by using a small explosive charge to release the camera shutter (Hart, 1982). At about the same time, the Tissandier brothers, Gaston and Albert, also conducted kite and balloon aerial photography in France (Cohen, 2006). Others maintain that kite aerial photography was invented in France in 1888 by A. Batut, who built a lightweight camera using a 9 x 12-cm glass plate for the photographic emulsion (Beauffort and Dusariez, 1995). The camera was attached to the wooden frame of a diamond-shaped kite and was triggered by a burning fuse. Later he built a panoramic system that included six cameras in a hexagonal arrangement for 360° views (Tielkes, 2003).

In 1890, Batut published the first book on kite aerial photography entitled La photographie aerienne par cerf-volant—aerial photography by kite (Batut, 1890; translated and reprinted in Beauffort and Dusariez, 1995). In that same year, another Frenchman, Emile Wenz, began practicing kite aerial photography. Batut and Wenz developed a close working relationship that lasted many years. They quickly gave up the technique of attaching the camera directly to the kite frame in favor of suspension from the line some 10s of meters below the kite. The activities of Batut and Wenz gained considerable attention in the press, and the method moved across the Atlantic. The first kite aerial photographs in the United States were taken in 1895 (Beauffort and Dusariez, 1995). Thereafter the practice of taking photographs from kites advanced rapidly with many technological innovations.

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