Aerial shot from hot air balloon looking down.

Before Google Maps de-sensitized the world to satellite imagery, seeing an aerial photograph was a mesmerizing experience. It was a rare perspective that only a few could see in person; it was also a fleeting experience.

Before the invention of drone technology, which made aerial photography cheaper and more accessible, if a person was lucky enough to have had a professional aerial photograph done at their property, they probably paid a pretty penny.

Aerial photography has been around since the mid 19th century, when it was first performed before the invention of the airplane, with the help of hot air balloons. Since that first aerial photograph, a lot has changed, but the types and uses have generally remained the same.

Let’s explore the different types of aerial photography used on project sites today.

Types of Aerial Photography

First, the term Aerial Photography refers to photographs taken from an elevated position using a suspended camera. Examples of capture methods that qualify as aerial photography are photos taken from:

  • Helicopters
  • Airplanes
  • Hot air balloons
  • Rockets
  • Drones
  • Kites
  • Satellites

Aerial photography has been instrumental in identifying landforms and mapping the Earth. This art of photogrammetry combines photography & geography by extracting measurements from photographs using an airborne craft.

There are many ways to capture the Earth using aerial technology. Here, we will go over some common terminology for types of aerial photography available and how the different types can be used on your job site.

Related: How Construction Site Projects Benefit from Drone Photography

Construction worker standing on rebar
Construction worker standing on rebar.

Vertical Photographs 

Maps are generally created with vertical aerial photographs by taking shots looking straight down at the ground. This keeps the image accurate in scale without distorting it by adding perspective.

Think about when you deposit a check with your phone camera into your mobile banking application. You want to keep your camera parallel or level above the surface the check is lying on. If you hold your camera at an angle, the check will not fit nicely into the rectangular box and is less readable by your bank’s app.

In construction, vertical photographs are useful for:

  • Site Assessments
  • Making site plans
  • Creating topographical maps
  • Building three-dimensional models
  • Inspecting rooftops

Low Oblique Photographs 

Next up are low oblique photographs. These are used to gain some perspective and close-up detail on landforms. These are different from vertical shots because they include at least a 3-degree tilt of the camera but less than 60 degrees.

Low oblique photographs are generally taken in construction to look at the quality of work being performed on the job site. These photographs need to be taken at a lower altitude to be close enough to capture more detail. Low oblique is also helpful for:

  • Viewing parts of a site that are not accessible
  • Inspecting a high-rise building
  • Inspecting rooftops
  • Site monitoring for safety compliance and progress
  • Surveying project site
  • 3-D Modeling

High Oblique Photographs 

You can probably guess the last type of aerial photograph: high oblique. High Oblique pictures have a much higher camera tilt and include the horizon. This results in a larger image area and helps distinguish elevation changes more quickly.

High oblique photographs are helpful on project sites for:

  • Site plan creation
  • Site exploration
  • Highway engineer planning
  • Phone lines planning 
  • Power line planning 
  • Drainage, sewer, irrigation, and flood zone management

High oblique aerial images are used to explore acres of land rather than city blocks in construction.

Related: Types of Remote Sensing

Image Scale

When you hear the terms large scale and small scale in aerial photography, it can seem a little counterintuitive. Large-scale aerial photographs are taken closer to the ground, while small-scale photographs are taken from a much higher altitude and include less detail but a larger land area.

HANA Resources is committed to changing the way technology meets the environment. You don’t know what you don’t know – let the experts at HANA Resources keep you informed about all aspects of your project site. Learn more today!

Related: Drone Land Surveying and Mapping

Aerial view of construction site
Aerial view of construction site.

HANA Resources Aerial Photography Can Make Your Next Project a Success

HANA Resources is an environmental consulting firm that specializes in running advanced technology so that you can reap the benefits. We give our utmost attention to each project and customize the flight plans to meet your job-specific needs.

Construction services that HANA Resources provides include:

  • Contour mapping
  • Drone Services
  • 3d Modeling 
  • Ultra-high-resolution, multispectral, and hyper-spectral cameras
  • Progress monitoring for job sites 
  • Incorporation of services with AutoCAD software

Drone Services

No challenge is too difficult for HANA Resources. Our top-notch imagery and we develop strategies to meet your individual project needs. Our drone services come in handy on job sites. Here are a few of the services we offer using drones and our proprietary technology:

Contour Mapping

Before breaking ground on a new construction site, the land must be surveyed and mapped. This is critical for excavation contractors to know how to proceed with their scope of work. HANA Resources provides aerial mapping and contour mapping services. Aerial mapping provides ultra-high resolution images, while contour mapping gives complex data that is easy to capture.

Progress Monitoring

New construction and even large renovation projects require a lot of coordination and planning. Physically walking and climbing around your job site every week or month to update the owner on the job site progress can be time-consuming and tedious. HANA Resources can make it simple. We offer weekly, biweekly, or monthly aerial progress monitoring of your job site.

Aerial photography has plenty of uses at different project sites. From high-rise construction in the city to highway engineering and city planning, these eyes in the sky have proven to be an invaluable way to assess, monitor, and visualize what might otherwise be unseen.

HANA Resources is an industry leader in aerial technologies using cutting-edge technology. Exceed all expectations on your next project and explore what we can do on your job site today!

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