As part of our efforts to make more of our collection available to students and researchers who are not GIS experts, MIL has been experimenting with various mechanisms to publish data online. Here is our first public example: a mosaic of Fairchild Aerial Surveys images that were created in 1927:
To view the image directly inside Google Earth, select "Network Link" from the Add menu, then copy-and-paste this link into the resulting dialog box. (You can also download the kmz file to your computer, which will increase performance.)
12 individual aerial photographs were cropped (our images all have black borders and text along the edges) and downsampled (gEarth couldn't handle the 40,000 pixel wide image we initially threw at it). Next, we used Photoshop's built in merge tool to create one large image. We brought this into Google Earth and spent about 5 minutes adusting it to match today's landscape. The result? A stunning 3d view of Santa Barbara just two years after 1925's devastating earthquake.
Two limitations prevent an even better view. First: the free version of Google Earth has some inherent limitations. We're pretty sure that there are server-side options available that would let us send out full-resolution imagery. Second: we only have copies for this particular set of images. The original negatives are at Whittier College and are currently inaccessible to the public.
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