Airborne Photography Capabilities

Examples of Aerial Photos:

   The taking and processing of "geotagged" aerial images for our agency customers requires that we imbed the date, time, latitude, longitude, altitude, direction of photo into the "meta data" of the photo, then imbed that data on the face of the photo. 

   Again, these images not only have this key information on the face of the photograph-- they can be easily "dropped" on GIS programs like Google Earth or Geosetter.

   Because most airborne photos appear "washed" from haze, we adjust the brightness and contrast of the photo, then put a Civil Air Patrol "Watermark" in the corner of the photo to identify that it was taken by the CAP, and place a "N" arrow on the face.


If you are a federal, state or local agency and have need of high-quality, detailed geotagged (GIS-enabled) images, we we are looking for missions!  Please contact us.


The photos on the right were taken by a Gainesville-based CAP aircrew in May 2005 of the F5 tornado that severely damaged Ringgold, Georgia, at an altitude of 1,000 feet AGL (actual mission photos) as well as sample photos taken of other infrastructure by CAP aircrews in central Georgia.


Want to see more detail?  Click on ANY image to enlarge.


How do I view these images on a map?

We like the GeoSetter software that automatically maps geotagged images into Google Maps or Goggle Earth.  There are many other options.  We suggest you visit Geotagging, an excellent Wikipedia article.


How can I view the images full size?

Click on any of the images and a full-sized geotagged image will load on your browser.  You can then view them using GeoSetter and can view image details.


What equipment was used to take these?

These were taken from the back seat of Civil Air Patrol Cessna aircraft at 1000 feet above ground level, using high-resolution (digital) Nikon SLR cameras with specialized GPS, and were processed using CAP-standard software.  Shutter speeds in most instances are 1000th to a 1500th of a second, which ensures high resolution.


How long does it take to imbed the geotag?

We have standardized the Solmeta Geotagger N2, which sits on top of the Nikon camera and embeds latitude, longitude, altitude and direction of photograph.  The unit constantly provides GPS information to the camera.


How did you reduce that hazy look we often see in aerial photography?

Using Paint Shop Pro Photo X3.  This software allows us to significantly enhance the contrast and lower the brightness of each photo; it's "batch" mode allowed us to enhance and watermark.


How do you embed the information across the face of the software?

Civil Air Patrol crews use specialized GPS image processing software; the Georgia Wing uses GPS Photo Link Express (our primary tool) as well as RoboGeo.   These images were processed with RoboGeo using the "/CAP" setting.


Can I get these kind of results using one of the nicer point and shoot cameras that has geotagging?

No.  The Cessna's high wings block GPS signal to these cameras; as a result, the geotagging is inaccurate and spotty.  And because they don't have the quality of optics and shutter speed adjustments of professional cameras, they don't achieve professional results.  We have tried two leading versions, both to poor results.


How hard is this to learn?

Like any new skill, it requires some training and practice.  But it's our goal to help ensure that we train qualified and highly skilled airborne photographers throughout the Georgia Wing.  But we've already learned that anyone with a decent photographic "eye" can learn the steps.