Interesting Washington Post Article…

For those of you familiar with what Northern Virginia is like now, the following article may be of interest:

It’s about how archaeologists are using some recently discovered aerial photos of Fairfax County from 1937 to analyze change over the decades.

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6 Responses to Interesting Washington Post Article…

  1. KoS says:

    This is one reason why I argue our agency shouldn’t be throwing out our old hardcopy imagery. It’s a historical document. Never know if and when it will be usefull.

    If nothing else, donate them to a local univeristy.


  2. Bill Dollins says:

    They do that? It’s just irresponsible to throw it out. Give a grad student a scanner and you’ve got a thesis project in the making. Not to mention the good PR they’d get from donating it. Whoa.

  3. KoS says:

    Yes they do that, all the time. They are told to clean -up and they blindly go about it. Not thinking about what they are throwing out. Or even thinking about the potential uses above and beyond it’s original use.

    Also, alot of the time they think there are additional copies else where. More times than not, there are no more copies and there may not be any negatives either.

    A local university did take some of the imagery from the surrounding donut counties and scanned and placed them on the web. Unfortantely, they didn’t get to the remaining 80 or so counties.


  4. Bill Dollins says:

    That’s a shame. It sounds like it drives you batty. Rightfully so.

  5. KoS says:

    It does drives me batty. 🙂 Especially by the scope.

    It’s not the case anymore because of office consolidation. At one time not too long in the distant past. Our agency had at least one employee in every county in the nation. Now, I would say about 90-95% of the counties. Still a lot of a coverage.

    Guess what, we had/have imagery for almost every square inch of those counties. Current and historical imagery. Which adds up to alot of imagery and alot of temporal information.


  6. Bill Dollins says:

    Wow! I know a lot of people who would love to have that kind of coverage for a lot of different applications. Even if it’s old. What was striking to me about the images in the WashPost article was how similar the road networks are 70 years later.

    You make a great point about the temporal value of the data as well and the article alludes to it when it mentions that the old images clearly showed the locations of Civil War era fortifications.

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