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back to article Blighty laid bare as historic aerial snaps archive goes online

Today sees the launch of Britain From Above - a seriously impressive archive of 16,000 aerial views of Blighty taken between 1919 to 1953. The images were acquired for the nation in 2007 when aerial photography outfit Aerofilms fell on hard times, and following "a painstaking process of conservation and cataloguing", can now be …

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Silver badge

Connection to 192.168.89.45 failed.

needs a little TLC!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Connection to 192.168.89.45 failed.

Working now. Another damn site that requires registration for you to be able to use it properly. Sure I get that registration is needed for commenting and contributing but why just to zoom in on a picture?

Fail.

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Meh

Yep!

Same Here!

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FAIL

it's leaking

he following error was encountered while trying to retrieve the URL: http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/

Connection to 192.168.89.45 failed.

The system returned: (110) Connection timed out

It shouldn't be giving out internal IP addresses just because to many reg readers have clicked the link.

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Bronze badge
Windows

Re: it's leaking

Still spannered at present.

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Facepalm

Ah ; the old favourite sight of a new site collapsing under the weight of users!

Wouldn't happen if you outsourced it to the cloud... or something. ;)

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Happy

Too bad

Not quite close enough to see all the bad teeth. Damn.

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Re: Too bad

I'd downvote/upvote if I knew what you were talking about.

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Trollface

Re: Too bad

"Not quite close enough to see all the bad teeth. Damn."

It's an early example of Britain experimenting the U.S. method of High School portraiture where, in order to fit the whole person into the frame, it must be an aerial photograph.

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Devil

Re: U.S. method of High School portraiture

BURN.

I like. Of course, at the US High school I went to, it wasn't that bad. After all, not one of us weighed over 15 stone.

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still spannered

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Bronze badge

"Who will find the first sunbathing lovely of the 1930s?"

You just showed us the beach at Blackpool. I call -that- one.

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Can someone please draw some parallels with Google's and that other one's spy plane stuff (can't remember the story now) and what happened in the 1930's in an amusing way? Thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

broken the internet?

RROR

The requested URL could not be retrieved

The following error was encountered while trying to retrieve the URL: http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/

Connection to 192.168.89.45 failed.

The system returned: (110) Connection timed out

The remote host or network may be down. Please try the request again.

Your cache administrator is webadmins@scran.ac.uk.

well done Lester and El Reg

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Its sort of working now, but a bit slow in places.

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Silver badge

Re. Mystery Location

On the picture shown, is that a barrage balloon in the upper right corner?

I'm also surprised that the location hasn't been identified.

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Happy

Re: Re. Mystery Location

Giant Moth.

So it must be Tokyo.

Oh, wait...

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PT

Re: Re. Mystery Location

The water tower at upper left suggests somewhere with no hills nearby, so perhaps east coast.

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Anonymous Coward

It works

Just V E R Y S L O O O O O W L L L L Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ..................

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Nope

Not working again. I will leave it a few months and come back when all the fuss has died down I think.

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Black Helicopters

Shades of the London Olympics

I was enamoured by the caption of the photograph of Wembley Stadium by the Daily Fail:

<blockquote please>Wembley Stadium hosts the 1935 FA Cup final, which Sheffield Wednesday won by beating West Bromwich Albion 4-2. The Cierva autogyro in the foreground was flown by Scotland Yard, experimenting with air observation to monitor crowds.</blockquote please>

In 1935!

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Bronze badge
Joke

Re: Shades of the London Olympics

Probably took three weeks to get the pictures back from the chemist though.

I'm joking, they did have cameras in planes in the First World War and the pictures didn't take that long to develop.

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It's alive!

It is actually working. However, they have a message on the front page advising that:

"Launch day - high web traffic

We are currently experiencing a very high volume of traffic due to the popularity of the site on launch day - today, 25 June. We apologise if you are having any difficulties accessing our web pages. Please try again later, when the problems should be resolved"

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The mystery image is of Central Parade in Herne Bay with the Ship Inn visible on the left of the shot

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Thumb Up

I concur with your analysis.

Well spotted that person!

Herne Bay central parade between East Street and Bank Street.

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Thumb Up

Ummm no it's not.

It's me Grans ouse, on the street near the coast in England.

Eeer Bah Gum Ladde!

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Location in the Photo

I am fairly sure the mystery photo is Central Parade in Herne Bay, Kent

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At least this will provide a more up-to-date alternative to the satellite imagery on Apple's iOS6 maps.

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Silver badge
Joke

Our system is currently experiencing an extraordinary level of traffic. Please bear with us.

Okay, I didn't realise I had to please a bear with you guys - how exactly do we please him? Sounds a bit risky if you ask me! I only wanted to look at some old photos not be involved in this weirdness!

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Bronze badge

Lost Villages of medieval England

Only had time for a peek, due to slow loading, but will try later. Aerial photos taken in the 1930s and 1940s set the world of medieval history reeling with delight, as the remains of abandoned medieval villages (yes, and some Roman remains) were visible in low-angled light. The depopulation of England in the series of plagues after 1348 meant many villages were utterly lost, sometimes even the names gone from local memory. By using the photographs, archaeologists could find and excavate sites undisturbed for centuries, and huge amounts of important information was recovered. Being an ex-mediaevalist, I have a soft spot for these photos.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't always need photos ...

Many years ago, after a very dry summer, I was amazed to see the outlines of some sort of cloistered building at the foot of Harrow Hill, from it's summit. A friends mum, who had lived nearby, and whose mum had lived there back to the 1870s was adamant that nothing had stood there in (their) living memory.

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Unhappy

Disappointing - Resolution far too low for aerial photographs.

The 'Britain from Above' web site is very disappointing. It's good these images are now online but they're aerial photographs so why has the site posted such low quality photographs? Plate cameras have enormous resolution and even ordinary film cameras are capable of much better resolution than the photos posted here.

Moreover there's only the gallery and intermediate resolution images available which is hardly satisfactory--the image of St Paul's I checked was only 820 x 649px! Shame they'd not copied the Library of Congress method of presenting photos where multiple image sizes are available from thumbnails through to large TIF files of 7500 x 6072px (file sizes typically 80-200MB). For example, even in this 150-year old image from the LOC collection the large 7500 x 6072px TIF file is 86.9MB:

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/cwp/item/cwp2003000014/PP/

and there are much larger files than this one amongst other images.

You might well ask why anyone would want such a large TIF file from 150 years ago. Well, I chose this image example to illustrate just this point. In the long line of soldiers in the photograph, there's one guy in the back row (towards the RHS) that stands out from the others by what he's doing (download the large TIF to find out). The fact is unless we'd had access to this large TIF then his actions would most likely have gone unnoticed (as he's hardly recognizable in the lower resolution images). As this example attests, when it comes to historical images, we need very bit of resolution we can get.

The quality of Library of Congress images is, by and large, excellent as they're scanned with a resolution that's close to the Nyquist limit--or at least within spitting distance of it (also the dynamic range/linearity is excellent). Scanning at the Nyquist limit (two times the smallest discernible transition) ensures that most of the data is captured from the original.

As far as quality goes, most images on the net are pretty terrible, and unfortunately 'Britain from Above' is following in that mould (a la British Museum, Imperial War Museum, etc., etc., the images from all of which are unquestioningly substandard). The net and new hi-res displays* mean that people now have the capability to examine historical and other images in truly fine detail as never before but the web sites are choosing not to make the images available. It seems to me that there should be much more uproar over this.

_

* Only a week or two ago El Reg had an article on the ultra high def TV standard which incidentally is 7680 x 4320px--a huge increase in definition over 1080i hi-def. Clearly, hi-res is the way technology is going, thus the quality of web sites must be comparable or users will lose interest.

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Facepalm

Re: Disappointing - Resolution far too low for aerial photographs.

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Shut up and look at the pretty pictures. They didn't cost you anyhing, why do you have to be an ass about it?

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@perlcat - - Re: Disappointing - Resolution far too low for aerial photographs.

Because:

It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us. ... [Isaac Disraeli]

There is an infinite difference between a little wrong and just right, between fairly good and the best, between mediocrity and superiority. ... [Orison S.Marden]

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Facepalm

Re: @perlcat - - Disappointing - Resolution far too low for aerial photographs.

Wah, wah, wah.

It was free. Stop looking at it if you hate it. Spend your own money to make your own if you have the need. Call your elected official and offer to help if you want to make yourself useful. Fix it if you own it.

Bitching about something you have no control over and are not charged anything for the privilege of using in public forums just looks whiny and pathetic, no matter how you church it up with quotations. All's it shows is that you have the power of wikipedia at your fingertips in a pretense of thinking ignoble thoughts in a noble way. Devil, scripture, own purposes, you know the drill.

Since I can't be bothered to come up with my own quotations, I guess your quest for excellence in smart-assed repertoire will just have to suffer.

Cheers!

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: Disappointing - Resolution far too low for aerial photographs.

"You might well ask why anyone would want such a large TIF file from 150 years ago. Well, I chose this image example to illustrate just this point. In the long line of soldiers in the photograph, there's one guy in the back row (towards the RHS) that stands out from the others by what he's doing (download the large TIF to find out)."

I waited AGES for it to download, and what did I see? Just some guy looking towards the camera while all the other soldiers are looking away from the camera. Please tell me that's not all it is - I was really hoping for something interesting.

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In a hundred years time...

...our descendants will be waiting keenly for the release of 2012 StretView images, only to find that they were all scrapped for data protection reasons. Please don't let that happen.

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