Finding Free Aerial Maps Online

If you are looking for free aerial maps, you currently have a number of options. To begin with, you need to decide how you wish to interact with these images. You can either use a desktop based application or a web based application such as firefox or Internet explorer. You can generally find the same or similar photos no matter which platform you choose.

There are currently a number of aerial and satellite photo browsing desktop applications, the most famous of which may be Google Earth. Google Earth was originally made by an independent company, Keyhole, Inc. and known as "Earth Viewer." Google acquired this company in 2004 and would later release the program for consumer use for free. As freeware, updates to the program are also free and there are no limits to how you can use to program, although a "Plus" version with GPS integration is offered for a $20 annual fee and a commercial "Pro" edition is available for a $400 annual fee. Currently upgrades are planned for the "Pro" version which will substantially raise the annual fee. Google Earth is available for many operating systems including Linux and FreeBSD in addition to Windows and Mac OS X.


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In addition to Google Earth, you also have the open source NASA sponsored program known as WorldWind. WorldWind offers both free aerial maps in the style of Google Earth and extraterrestrial models, such as the Moon and Jupiter. WorldWind incorporates aerial data from Microsoft's Virtual Earth platform. As open source software, WorldWind is free software.

Free Aerial Maps

If you are not looking for a desktop application, you still have a number of options for free aerial maps. Google also offers its aerial imagery in their Google Maps service online. Simply click the "Satellite" tab and zoom in to see if aerial photographs are available for the area you are looking in. You can also check out TerraServer-USA, offered for free by Microsoft. TerraServer uses public domain USGS aerial photographs. If you prefer non-profits and open source, but do not want to install NASA WorldWind there is another option for you as well. OpenAerialMap.org is an open collection of aerial photographs, collected into a single coherent view of the world.

There are many other free aerial maps services available, as well as live demos of proprietary programs which have a one time, or annual fee. It is up to you to decide which service or program fits your needs best.




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Aerial Mapping

By Peter Brittain
Aerial mapping usually called as Photogrammetry can be used to map large areas efficiently and faster compared to traditional surveying. It captures the horizontal and vertical features of topography of large extent of land. This method uses a series of aerial photographs to create a stereoscopic image of the area. Each aerial photograph taken should include or cover several points which has identifiable XYZ coordinates. Considering these known points, an accurate digital terrain model is developed for the surveyed area. The digital terrain model will provide you the exact horizontal and vertical information using the photos.
[READ FULL ARTICLE]

Photogrammetry Measurement

By Peter Brittain
Photogrammetry is a scientific method of measurements using photography. In essence, it is a measurement technology using the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object are established through measurements taken using several (two to three) photographic images taken from different angles.
[READ FULL ARTICLE]




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