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From the air: the photographic record of Florida's lands

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Purpose - To describe an LSTA-funded project that digitized 88,000 black and white aerial photographs and 2,500 photomosaic indexes created for Florida by the US Department of Agriculture between 1938 and 1971. Technical specifications of digital capture, specialized programming, and project value are reviewed. Design/methodology/approach - The 9 ? 9 inch aerial tiles were captured on flatbed scanners; the larger photomosaic indexes were captured using a large format camera. Three software tools were designed for the project: the first tracked each tile through the entire in-house processing including receipt, assignment, scan completion, QC processing, FTPing to server, and archiving of images. The second automated image collection, from disparate scanning stations, performed basic image manipulation for quality control, and stored collected data in a database. The third tool performed routine image corrections, prepared and deployed web format images, and packed archival image formats preparatory to burning CDs. The tile layer of the GIS interface was created by georectifying the composite photomosaic indexes for each Florida county and linking tiles to appropriate points. Findings - Because aerial photographs are inherently spatial, the development team agreed that a GIS interface was the appropriate vehicle for web presentation. While this environment presents no difficulties for more sophisticated users, GIS functionality is not intuitive. A less complex interface is a top priority for future project refinements. Originality/value - The value of this project is documented in terms of site use and solicited user responses.
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Keywords: Digital Libraries; Geographic Information Systems; Photography; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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