View Full Version : Google and Flashearth Airfield Images

Richard Flagg
25-11-2008, 00:21
As the data gets updated and the new updated photos appear, alot of airfield landscapes are changeing - is there a back up of these older satalite images of airfields that can be reffered to after the new image appears? Or is it a case of when the new image appears thats it and you won't be able to retrieve to old images? Hope I have made sense!

25-11-2008, 00:37
Makes perfect sense, even between systems there are images of different dates. Take a look at Honnington the GE image shows building I would asume is related to the RAF Regiment usage of the site, live seach Microsoft or what ever its called now shows an early set of images with some very obvious attempts (or I thought so) at doctoring details on some of the dispersals.

Peter Kirk
25-11-2008, 10:20
The original Getmapping(Virtual Earth) images from 1999 are still available on the Getmapping site Getmapping.com as are the various newer ones. In some cases you can view three layers of time.
Goole Earth seems to be from different providers and some of the Scottish/Irish ones seem to be high quality sattellite rather than aerial. Yahoo also has some that differ from both the others.
I have found that some of the poorer quality GE images of a few years ago (they were sepia in tone) had excellent crop/soil marks that showed runway and taxiway marks very clearly.
Does anyone remember the first Getmapping viewer where it showed coverage of the UK in by inclusion so you had to zoom in to see where you were looking at?
Another memory lane one is the Terraserver http://www.terraserver.com/. Pre Getmapping it had sat images of parts of the UK and was the first time I remember using the internet to look at aerial views. They were black and white and dated from 1980's. Poor quality for detail work but interesting at the time. Even West Malling was largely intact! I did subscribe to Terraserver later as it had all the current Getmapping data and was cheaper. Sadly the UK stuff is now only GE data plus, amazingly, central London in 1940 (Ex Luftwaffe) - Amazing pre Blitz pictures.

Sorry about another PNK waffle but I like aerial photgraphs, as you mave have gathered :lol:

27-11-2008, 04:16
Yeah I wish I could still see some of the old GE images as you could see the outlines/silhouettes of buildings in the grass at Down Ampney. Now they've updated the pictures one site that's been built over has gone and I can't refer to it any more :(

BTW, PNK - if you like aerial pics I'm assuming you've made the trip to Swindon to view the English Heritage archive? Best 4.50 for a cheap-day return I ever spent and just as good if not better in some cases that the PRO.

Peter Kirk
27-11-2008, 11:24
OneEighthBit - No I haven't been to Swindon yet. It's a bit more than 4.50 for me though. I did get a set of photos of the area around my house for 15 though, one from each decade from the 1940's - a bargain!
TNA and Swindon are on my list, and have been for many years :oops:
At Swindon do you have to book the aerials you want to view or can you just turn up. Also can you copy them?

27-11-2008, 13:31
For Swindon you need to contact them first and give them the national grid reference for the corners of the areas you want to view. I think they have a limit on how much you can book out in one sitting and you need to do it in advance because it takes them a while to get them from the magazine.

Basically pick a day, give them a week or two's notice of what you want and when you turn up it'll be waiting for you in cardboard boxes. They are the original prints so you have to wear latex gloves when handling them. You can order copies but they also have a fairly good self-serve photocopier with a "photo" setting which does pretty good copies up to A3 and you can also use a digital camera to take copies if you want. You have to sign the usual non-commercial use disclaimer before you copy though.

They also have they're oblique image library which is chuffing huge and sorted by grid reference which you can view at any time just by turning up. Most of it is contemporary aerial stuff but they have a lot of 50's and 60's stuff and on occasion you get lucky and find some USAAF or RAF oblique 1940's aerial shots of airfields and military sites.

Service wise Swindon was much more friendly, accessible and had a better range of photos than the PRO had.

Peter Kirk
27-11-2008, 15:46
Sounds as though I should, a) decide which sites I want to view and b)book a visit.
Thanks for the information OneEightBit.