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Center for Great Plains Studies


James S. and Susan W. Aber

Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)

Kite aerial photography is a form of remote sensing--collecting information about an object from a distance. Aerial photography from kites is, infact, one of the oldest forms of remote sensing of the Earth's surface. Kites were utilized to take aerial photographs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for many purposes--military reconnaissance, disaster assessment, scientific surveys, etc. KAP images from above the surface gave new perspectives for how people visualized the world, both from practical as well as aesthetic points of view. The development of powered flight gradually put an end to the golden age of kite aerial photography by the 1930s.

During the past two decades, kite aerial photography has experienced a renaissance for commercial, scientific, and popular purposes. The rebirth of kite aerial photography is based on several factors.

* Increasing popularity of high-performance sport and technical kite flying.

* Development of low-cost, light-weight, automatic cameras of high quality, particularly digital camera.

* Need for low-altitude observations in situations where manned aircraft could not operate effectively.

* Low-cost alternative to conventional airplane or helicopter aerial photography.

For additional information about Jim and Susan or to learn more about Kite Aerial Photography please visit their webpage at www.geospectra.net

 

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