Aerial photography is used for 4 broad purposes in the field of archaeology; it is used as an illustration, as an instrument for field research and excavation, for research as data in its own right and as a tool for determining the destruction rate of the sites and measures all the needed things to conserve them. To improve aerial photography we should study the development of aerial photography.
The first photograph taken by an aerial photographer is the oblique and this has been in a French village during the late 19th century. The aerial photograph was taken by Gaspar Felix Tournachon, who also patented the concept of using aerial photographs in order to compile maps. Such actions has been done in order to prove that it is much more convenient and effective compared to the use of the time-consuming ground surveys which have been considered as the commonly used method by some national mapping organizations developed in the 19th century. In 1906, George R. Lawrence took the courage to take aerial photographs of San Francisco, following the shocking and devastating earthquake however it was not until World War I, when the potential military applications have been foreseen – in which it denotes that the process of taking aerial photographs by an aerial photographer will serve as the key towards the development of an effective and efficient method.
For such purpose, an archaeologist OGS Crawford has pioneered the utilization of drone photography or aerial photography. From this, the Germans and the allies have decided to take regular photographs for every resources and lines so that they would be able to keep themselves updated with the movements of their enemies. After experiencing or finding out the effectiveness of this method, Britain then started to make use of aerial photography, particularly during the World War II. They have employed several teams of archaeologist in order to fluently interpret masses and masses of photos taken for the aerial renaissance purposes.
After the end of the war, the researchers have welcomed the beginning of the modern movement of archaeological features, natural processes and landscape studies as well as the utilization of landscape as a monument and a feature. The development of colour photography and the cold war represents that military applications are constant. During this period, lots of environmental applications have also been developed.
Later after so many investigations and observations, aerial photography has been utilized extensively in archaeological studies and later on used on wider environmental aspects such as mapping forests as well as the changes in the vegetation over time, tracking the changes in the landscape after the occurrence of natural disasters like landslides as well as the changes that happened in river direction, including the depth and planning conservation of river systems.
The application of drone photography became limitless together with multiple functions in various fields such as geography, wider landscape, and geology, urban and rural studies. It became a cheap yet effective remote sensing method. Today, there are already many benefits of aerial photography and lots of available satellite imagery and public mapping like Google Earth however behind this, aerial photography still remains significant to landscape and various environmental studies. It truly adapts as human and technology need adapts.