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Urban settlements on the Peninsula photographed from above

Thursday 4 November 2010, 9:36AM
By Thames Coromandel District Council


Photographers in two aeroplanes made the most of Labour weekend's fine weather to update Thames-Coromandel District Council's (TCDC) high resolution aerial photographs of the Coromandel Peninsula's settlements.

Every three to five years, changes in the layout of towns, roads and new subdivisions need to be reflected in updated aerial photographs. This year, however, rare conditions aligned to enable the entire shoot to be completed in one day.

Two large format 216 megapixel Vexcel cameras, weighing 300kg each, shot nearly 1,500 photographs from a gyro-stabilised mount.

Camera operator Jayson English said the cameras were powerful enough to see shadows of power lines on the ground from nearly two kilometres away, especially with Saturday's perfect weather. "It was one of the nicest, cloud-free days we've ever had on the Coromandel."

Before the results are delivered to Council the final photographs have to be orthorectified - a process needed to remove the geometrical errors or displacement caused by the camera and the terrain relief. Without ortho-rectification, scale is not constant in the image and accurate measurements of distance and direction cannot be made.

TCDC's mapping specialist, Kate Turner, said the process can take a few months before the data is converted into a form Council can use to update its official maps. She expects to see the results next year.