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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Shadbolt's Aerial Images of London
Historic England have just released Shadbolt's iconic photos of England which went under the hammer last year and were rescued by HE (and, yes, for those confused Historic England was part of English Heritage which split in two in 2015). These photos form the earliest aerial images of London and largely cover the suburban fringe that were undergoing rapid expansion - all in amazing detail. Sadly Shadbolt was killed in - perhaps unsurprisingly - a ballooning accident. A great collection that forms a unique part of early aerial photography. Copyright Historic England

posted on: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Beagle 2 and Super Resolution
The Beagle 2 was perhaps the most infamous of British attempts in space. The sheer audacity of a tiny mission, built on a shoestring to achieve a dramatic landing on Mars....

posted on: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

TIROS Flashback
EPoD provided a great flashback last week to the first ever image acquired from TIROS 1 and, no joke, 1 April 1960. That is a LONG time ago and it was remarkable because it was the first time there was routine observation of the Earth's weather. A remarkable achievement. It only lasted 77 days but this was a research mission testing feasibility and system designs. The TIROS programme was hugely successful and paved the way for Earth observation as we know it today. And if you want an extended flashback.... read the National Geographic article from that year.

posted on: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

ASTER Data Available at No Charge
Great news from USGS over at LPDAAC announcing that ASTER data is now FREE OF CHARGE. A great data resource and invaluable to researchers around the globe....

posted on: Fri, 08 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Ultra lightweight KAP cameras?
I briefly commented on KAP cameras when looking at the PhaseOne iXU180 - a great medium format camera for medium weight UAV use....

posted on: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

EA Point Clouds
As I blogged about earlier, the EA released it's LiDAR derived DEMs last summer which some people might say was about time (do I hear echoes of "access to publicly funded research"?). Anyway, they have now progressed that release to the raw data itself which is great news as there will be so much more you can do with this. First tranche is here...

posted on: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

DJI Phantom 4
The rapid development roadmap for DJI continues (see Phantom 3 camera review). Camera improvements continue abate and onboard you'll find a 12MP stills camera with a 1/2.3-inch (8.8x6.6mm) sensor. ISO goes up to of 1600 for photos and, crucially, records Adobe DNG RAW. This is a BIG step forward for a drone camera as it allows much greater headroom in post processing. The field of view is 94 which is about equivalent to an 18mm lens on a full frame camera (which means wide and with lots of distortion).

posted on: Wed, 02 Mar 2016 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Structure from Motion 101
I gave a short talk on numerical approaches to capturing "landscape" in a general sense and more specifically on my collaborative work on Studio of Objects with hijack and Chris Horrocks (at Kingston). Working with Flora Parrott, this was to give her students on the Foundation Fine Art Degree a taster of both laser scanning and Structure from Motion techniques. Slides below for those interested. My PhD student James O'Connor did the most dangerous of things - a live demo!!! He's now written this up as a 101 for getting started in Structure from Motion processing - and, of course, as a tribute to Oscar in Sesame street (not Elmo!). A great primer.

posted on: Sat, 30 Jan 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Satellite Image Acquisitions, 2015
A great piece of work by one of my former dissertation students (Graham) over at Geocento plotting the location of all commercial satellite image acquisitions from it's archive. This includes images from ErosB, FORMOSAT-2, GeoEye-1, KOMPSAT-2, KOMPSAT-3, KOMPSAT-5, Pleiades-1A, Pleiades-1B, RADARSAT-2, RapidEye-1, RapidEye-2, RapidEye-3, RapidEye-4, RapidEye-5, SPOT-6, SPOT-7, TanDEM-X, TerraSAR-X, UK-DMC2, Worldview-1, Worldview-2, WorldView-3 Whats interesting is that this will in-part reflect how the satellites are being tasked and so potentially imply some of the applications. Makes for fascinating viewing.

posted on: Fri, 08 Jan 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

SpaceX Successful Landing
I blogged earlier this year about SpaceX's nearly successful (or failed, depending upon your point of view!) attempted at a vertical landing of the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket. This time they were successful and, to boot, launched 11 satellites in to space as well. Makes for a great party piece!!

posted on: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

EA LIDAR DEM Coverage
A little while back I blogged about the release of the EA LiDAR DEMs for the UK - well a nice pickup from GoGeo for a coverage map of the data.

posted on: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Space Placements in INdustry (SPIN)
I missed this last year, but it's well worth flagging to all undergraduates as a fantastic way to get industry experience - Space Placements in INdustry (SPIN)....

posted on: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Digital preservation
What do you do when an artifact you have is in danger of loss or destruction?? Preserve it of course!...

posted on: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

SkyTech Event (and Commercial UAV Show Report)
I attended the Commcerical UAV Show last month at the Excel Centre, sharing a slice of the vast area with the Robotics Show....

posted on: Fri, 13 Nov 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects Wrap Up
Well with the Paolozzi project (Studio of Objects) finally finished, the start of the summer saw the final wrap up "event"....

posted on: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

DJI announce micro four thirds camera
DJI have announced a micro four thirds camera for their drones which seems to be specifically targeted at the film industry but has important implications for photogrammetry....

posted on: Fri, 11 Sep 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Commercial UAV Operators Double
An interesting summary piece over at Amateur Photographer.... and particularly noting that "The number of CAA-approved commercial operators now stands as 862, compared to 549 in April and a reported 359 in October 2014."...

posted on: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Dronecode
With the press reporting on UAV near misses in the UK there is increasing pressure on how to effectively deal with drones encroaching on airspace and a rational approach to safety....

posted on: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Drone Rangers
Great short "Future Works" film from The Economist on the Drone Rangers..... very nicely researched and presented looking at monitoring poaching in South Africa, to disaster response in the USA and then construction site monitoring. Lots of nice examples (thanks to Paolo for passing on).

posted on: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Environment Agency LiDAR to become open data
Great news over at the Environment Agency blog noting that their extensive LiDAR back catalog will (from September 2015) become open data available from Datashare. This is a a valuable data source and one of the most extensive LiDAR datasets available for the UK.

posted on: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Be bold, Be Blad
DPReview report on the latest aerial camera range from Hasselblad, the A5D. These are medium format cameras that compete directly with the Phase Range range I reported on earlier (the 80MP iXU180). Three models at 40, 50 and 60 MP, with up to 14 stops dynamic range with a 53x40 or 44x33mm sensor (technical specs here). Weighting in at 1.3kg (body only) its slightly heavier as well. Clearly the medium format aerial imaging space is heating up a lot - sales are likely much higher than bespoke large format cameras and used across a range of platforms including UAVs. Expect this to get better and cheaper with the competitive drive. Exciting times!

posted on: Fri, 05 Jun 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

USGS Earth Explorer Bulk Downloader
When wanting to download data from the USGS I've found that EarthExplorer is one of the easiest to use products and rapidly pulls together datasets that you might be interested in....

posted on: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Landsat 9 takes shape.....
A helpful press released over at NASA concerning Landsat 9.... things seem a-go with initial funding to kick things off, with gradual evolutionary development to the platform.

posted on: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Phase One iXU 180
DPReview reports on the latest Phase One Industrial medium format aerial camera, the iXU180. This is a 10,328 x 7760 sensor at an optical size of 53....

posted on: Wed, 01 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

World's most detailed wide field space photo.....
.... has now been created! This was a great project over at the BBCs StarGazing Live 2015 getting the public to submit photos of Orion to create it....

posted on: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Remote sensing in the buget
Yup, its true. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the budget was the announcement that Pitcairn would be the focus of the world's largest marine reserve at 834,000 sq km, more than twice as big as the UK, with a view to preventing illegal fishing....

posted on: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Space Gaffiti
Very cool magazine short at the BBC about creating an animation from space using graffiti on the ground - this was created with four "frames" that were painted over four days and imaged daily from space (no mention of the satellite). The four frames were then turn in to an animation using the animated GIF as a file format. Cool concept.

posted on: Mon, 09 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Ardusat for Schools
A good article over at edSurge on how Ardusat have raised money in a funding round to support the use of micro-satellites by schools for learning. Real science for real kids - inspiring.

posted on: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects Gigapan
With the scanning of Paolozz's studio outlined earlier, I promised to show the external camera processing we completed. So, with no further delay, below is the pano from the top of Paolozzi's cabin bed. All seven ScanStations are visible here. in close association with hijack and Dacapo

posted on: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Free remote sensed imagery resources
Nice pick up by Go-Geo from the Exelis blog (the makers of ENVI) on a range of resources for access to free remotely sensed imagery. Its actually in the PDF linked off the blog page. Very handy resource.

posted on: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Amazon Prime Drone
Clearly Amazon are very keen on the whole drone/UAv delivery thing.....the BBC reports on a recent FAA draft ruling that require operators to have "line of sight" with their kit. This pretty much puts paid to delivery for the time being. However expected this (air!)space to become crowded as a number of delivery operators will push for the this. I guess to start with we might see extended trials in some regions.... one to watch as it will clearly affect the wider UAV debate. And take a look at the Small UAV Coalition.... the only thing "small" is the UAV. Some big backers (see the members)behind this advocacy group...smiley happy website though!!

posted on: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: post-processing (Guest Post: Adam Goddard)
With the scan complete for the Paolozzi Studio of Objects project, our starting point was the 41.7GB of compressed data from the P20 in the form of ....

posted on: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: The BIG One
(please view the accompanying gallery to this post) I've already talked about the initial objectives of the Studio of Objects project - and I say objectives, but if we could boil it down it would simply be to "recreate Paolozzi's studio."...

posted on: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: point clouds from photogrammetry (Guest Post: James O'Connor)
(Ed: this is a guest post by James O'Connor) Whilst the main aim of the technical side of the Studio of Objects project was the use of laser scanning to reconstruct and archive the 3D geometry of Paolozzi's studio, as conserved at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, we were interested in, at least partially, trialling the use of photogrammetry to achieve the same goal and in particular Structure from motion....

posted on: Mon, 02 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Testing Times
(please view the accompanying gallery to this post) The initial objectives of the Studio of Objects project led us to define a technical requirements and with this a plan to rent the Leica P20 rather than use our own Leica ScanStation 2, purely from a perspective of speed and size....

posted on: Sun, 01 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Study of Objects: External Camera Image Processing
This post is slightly out-of-sequence with the earlier ones (I had meant to cover our first trial in West London scanning Paolozzi's Krazy Kat archive) but it does follow neatly from the last post on the technical setup for our external camera....

posted on: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Google Earth Pro available at no cost
As reported at Mapperz and Google Earth Blog, Google Earth Pro now appears to be made available at no cost (just signup for an extended license key)....

posted on: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: External Camera Panoramic Spheres
Following on from the last blog post (Paolozzi's Studio of Objects) I wanted to touch upon the external camera setup that we used to integrate photographic imagery with the laser scans from the Leica P20....

posted on: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Technical Setup
In this post I briefly want to outline the technical requirements for the Paolozzi Studio of Objects project....

posted on: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Scanning a studio.....
Following on from my (very much earlier!!) blog on "Studio of Objects" I'm involved in, I wanted to flesh out the project itself a little further and also talk about some of our initial experiences....

posted on: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry