Recovery of the aerial photographs of Ethiopia in the 1930s uri icon

abstract

  • The aerial photographs (APs) acquired by the Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM) in the period of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia (1935-1941) have recently been discovered, scanned and organised. Until recently, the oldest APs of the country that were available had been taken in the period 1958-1964. The APs over Ethiopia in 1935-1941 consist of 8281 assemblages on approximately 50 cm Ã? 20 cm hardboard tiles, each holding a label, one nadir-pointing photograph flanked by two low-oblique photographs and one high-oblique photograph. The four APs were exposed simultaneously and were taken across the flight line. The high-oblique photograph is presented alternatively at left and at right. There is approximately 60% overlap between subsequent sets of APs. One of Santoni's glass plate multi-cameras was used, with focal length of 178 mm and with a flight height of 4000-4500 m a.s.l., which resulted in an approximate scale of 1:11,500 for the central photograph and 1:16,000 to 1:18,000 for the low-oblique APs. The surveyors oriented themselves with maps of Ethiopia at 1:400,000 scale, compiled in 1934. The flights present a dense AP coverage of Northern Ethiopia, where they were acquired in the context of upcoming battles with the Ethiopian army. Several flights preceded the later advance of the Italian army southwards to the capital Addis Ababa. Further flights took place in central Ethiopia for civilian purposes. As of 1936, the APs were used to prepare topographic maps at 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 scales. To re-process the imagery using novel techniques, procedures using digital image-based modelling have been developed. The 1935-1941 APs together with those of 1958-1964, 1994 and recent high-resolution satellite imagery are currently being used in spatio-temporal analysis, including change studies of land cover, land management and geomorphology in Ethiopia over a time span of 80 years. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016