Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Very-large scale aerial photography for rangeland monitoring

Authors
item Booth, D
item Cox, Samuel

Submitted to: Geocarto International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2006
Publication Date: September 2, 2006
Citation: Booth, D.T., Cox, S.E. 2006. Very-large scale aerial photography for rangeland monitoring. Geocarto International 21:27-34.

Interpretive Summary: Motion blur has been the principal technical problem in acquiring aerial photography with an image resolution allowing detailed ecological monitoring. To avoid motion blur we used a modified Hulcher 70 mm camera with a 500 mm lens, Kodak's Aerocolor HS SO-846 film, and a 1/4000-second shutter speed. The camera was mounted in a slow-flying, ultra-light-type airplane. Systematic, unbiased, aerial sampling was accomplished using a unique aerial survey system programmed to automatically acquire the photographic samples (1:200 scale) at half-mile intervals over two high-elevation public-land grazing allotments in Wyoming's Red Desert. Examples of imagery are provided.

Technical Abstract: This paper describes new techniques allowing systematic monitoring of rangeland watersheds using aerial photography with exceptional resolution. The need for cost-effective ecological monitoring delivering detailed assessments has occupied more than 30 years of remote sensing research. The advent of high-shutter-speed cameras and fast films allowed 1950's researchers to explore large-scale aerial photography for vegetation monitoring. The principal technical constraint to even greater image resolution has been motion blur. To avoid motion blur, we used a modified Hulcher 70 mm camera with a 500 mm lens, Kodak's Aerocolor HS SO-846 film, and a 1/4000-second shutter speed. The camera was mounted in a slow-flying, ultra-light type airplane. Systematic, unbiased, aerial sampling was accomplished using a unique aerial survey system programmed to automatically acquire the photographic samples (1:200 scale) at 0.8-km intervals over two high-elevation public-land grazing allotments in Wyoming's Red Desert. Examples of imagery are provided.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page