Each aerial photograph contains in its margin important information for the photo user. The arrangement, type, and amount of this information is standardized; however, the rapid development of cameras, film, and aeronautical technology since World War II has caused numerous changes in the numbering and titling of aerial photographs. As a result, the photo user may find that the marginal information on older photographs varies somewhat from the standard current practice. With certain camera systems, some of the data are automatically recorded on each exposure, while other systems require that all titling data be added to the film after processing.
a. Standard titling data for aerial photography prepared for the use of the Department of Defense are as follows. For reconnaissance and charting photography, items 2 through 14 and item 19 are lettered on the beginning and end of each roll of film. Items 1 through 9 and item 19 are lettered on each exposure. For surveying and mapping photography, items 2 through 19 are lettered on the beginning and end of each roll of film, and items 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, and 19 are lettered on each exposure.
(1) Negative number.
(2) Camera position.
(3) Taking unit.
(5) Sortie/mission number.
(6) Date (followed by a double hyphen [=]).
(7) Time group and zone letter (GMT).
(8) Focal length.
(10) Kind of photography or imagery.
(11) Geographic coordinates.
(12) Descriptive title.
(13) Project number and or name.
(14) Camera type and serial number.
(15) Cone serial number (if any).
(16) Lens type and serial number.
(17) Magazine type and serial number.
(18) Type of photographic filter used.
(19) Security classification.
b. Automatically recorded data may differ somewhat in arrangement from the sequence listed above, but the same information is available to the photo user. A detailed explanation of the titling items and the codes used to indicate them is found in TM 5-243.
Before a photograph can be used as a map supplement or substitute, it is necessary to know its scale. On a map, the scale is printed as a representative fraction that expresses the ratio of map distance to ground distance, For example:
On a photograph, the scale is also expressed as a ratio, but is the ratio of the photo distance (PD) to ground distance. For example:
The approximate scale or average scale (RF) of a vertical aerial photograph is determined by either of two methods; the comparison method or the focal length-flight altitude method.
a. Comparison Method. The scale of a vertical aerial photograph is determined by comparing the measured distance between two points on the photograph with the measured ground distance between the same two points.
The ground distance is determined by actual measurement on the ground or by the use of the scale on a map of the same area. The points selected on the photograph must be identifiable on the ground or map of the same area and should be spaced in such a manner that a line connecting them will pass through or nearly through the center of the photograph (Figure 8-8).
Figure 8-8. Selection of points for scale determination.
b. Focal Length-Flight Altitude Method. When the marginal information of a photograph includes the focal length and the flight altitude, the scale of the photo is determined using the following formula (Figure 8-9).
Figure 8-9. Computation of scale from terrain level.
When the ground elevation is at sea level, H becomes zero, and the formula is as shown in Figure 8-10.
Figure 8-10. Basic computation of scale from sea level.
When aerial photos are taken of an area, it is convenient to have a record of the extent of coverage of each photo. A map on which the area covered by each photo is outlined and numbered or indexed to correspond to the photo is called an index map. There are two methods of preparing index maps.
a. The four-corner method (Figures 8-11 and 8-12) requires location on the map of the exact point corresponding to each corner of the photo. If a recognizable object such as a house or road junction can be found exactly at one of the corners, this point may be used on the map as the corner of the photo. If recognizable objects cannot be found at the corners, then the edges of the photo should be outlined on the map by lining up two or more identifiable objects along each edge; the points where the edges intersect should be the exact corners of the photo. If the photo is not a perfect vertical, the area outlined on the map will not be a perfect square or rectangle. After the four sides are drawn on the map, the number of the photograph is written in the enclosed area for identification. This number should be placed in the same corner as it is on the photo.
Figure 8-11. Four-corner method (selection of points).
Figure 8-12. Plotting, using the four-corner method.
b. The template method is used when a large number of photos are to be indexed, and the exact area covered by each is not as important as approximate area and location. In this case, a template (cardboard pattern or guide) is cut to fit the average area the photos cover on the index map. It is used to outline the individual area covered by each photo. To construct a template, find the average map dimensions covered by the photos to be indexed as follows. Multiply the average length of the photos by the denominator of the average scale of the photos; multiply this by the scale of the map. Do the same for the width of the photos. This gives the average length and width of the area each photo covers on the map--or the size to which the template should be cut (Figure 8-13).
Figure 8-13. Constructing a template.
c. To index the map, select the general area covered by the first photo and orient the photo to the map. Place the template over the area on the map and adjust it until it covers the area as completely and accurately as possible. Draw lines around the edges of the template. Remove the rectangle and proceed to the next photo (Figure 8-14).
Figure 8-14. Indexing with a template.
d. After all photos have been plotted, write on the map sufficient information to identify the mission or sortie. If more than one sortie is plotted on one map or overlay, use a different color for each sortie.
e. In most cases, when a unit orders aerial photography, an index is included to give the basic information. Instead of being annotated on a map of the area, it appears on an overlay and is keyed to a map.
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