Airborne camera

When man was at last able to ascend into the air, he marvelled at the sight of the land stretched endlessly below him. The “Birds eye view” came into being the moment perspective was a concern of western man, and Columbus sailed towards the ever distant vanishing point.

Frenchman Aurther Batut was a pioneer in this kite or (Aerial) photography. He built a kite which he modified to carry a camera and he used a home made box camera with a guillotine shutter to take pictures with. In 1851 Batut discovered that detailed acurate maps and ground plans could be made by taking two or more aerial photos and reversing the rules of perspective.

The German army experimented with rocket photography and in 1888 the magazine La Nature described the photo rocket. In 1891 a patent was issued to German Ludwig Rahnmann for a large calibre gun or rocket photographic system. A pigeon camera was also patented in Germany in 1903 this consisted of the pigeon having a harness fitted to him, this harness had a miniture camera attached to it.

Batut was inspired by Tissanders book on balloon photography although balloon photographs were rarely accepted as landscape.

Uses of aerial photographs include: - making accurate maps, finding disturbances in soil = archaeological sites, geography = untract terrain, civil engineering, city planning, forestry commission, traffic engineers and geologists, concervation work, as well as tax collection (land ownership). (Newhall: 1969)

Newhall. B. (1969). Airborne Camera. London: Focal Press Ltd.

Base Jumping

In 1975, Owen J. Quinn, a jobless man parachuted from the south tower of the World Trade Centre to publicise the plight of unemployment. Quinn got a job with the dock builders' union, working at the World Trade Centre and on July 22, he disguised himself as a construction worker, hid his parachute in a duffel bag and made his way up the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. He claims to have been inspired after seeing a modle of the WTC. Quinn had long ago had his first taste of parachuting and absolutely loved it and wanted to die doing it. Quinn wore a blue football jersey with the biblical verse, a19:26: "But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible". When he landed he was arrested. He was booked and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment. (Base Jumping: 2011)

In 1976 Rick Sylvester skied off Canada's Mount Asgard for the ski chase sequence of the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, giving the wider world its first look at BASE jumping.

Base Jumping.(2011). [online]. Jumping Off A Cliff, AVAILABLE at: : [ACCESSED ON 24-3-2011]


Franz Reichelt

(1879 – February 4, 1912)
An Austrian-born French tailor, inventor and parachuting pioneer, sometimes referred to as the Flying Tailor, he is remembered for his accidental death by jumping from the Eiffel Tower while testing a wearable parachute of his own design. Despite attempts by friends and spectators to dissuade him, he jumped from the first platform of the tower wearing his invention. The parachute failed to deploy and he crashed into the ground at the foot of the tower. The next day, newspapers were full of the story.
Franz Reichelt said "I want to try the experiment myself and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention". (Je veux tenter l’expérience moi-même et sans chiqué [sic], car je tiens à bien prouver la valeur de mon invention.)

Wikipidia. [online]Available at: (Accessed on 24-3-2011).


History of maps

What is a map ? - A map is a graphic representation or scale model of spatial concepts. It is a means for conveying geographic information. Incorporated in a map is the understanding that it is a "snapshot" of an idea.

A map can display only a few selected features, which are portrayed usually in highly symbolic styles according to some kind of classification scheme. In these ways, all maps are estimations, generalizations, and interpretations of true geographic conditions. Maps of all kinds are fundamentally important for modern society.

Modern maps:- much of the world was poorly known until the widespread use of aerial photography following World War I. Modern cartography is based on a combination of ground observations and remote sensing.

J.S. Aber (2008) Brief History of Maps and Cartography. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 18-3-2011]

Maps byArtists

Maps are an increasingly common feature of artistic practice in this information addicted early 21st century, as both representations of real places and diagrams of intangible things, whether movement, data, networks or imaginary realms. Any of these works represent maps that exist in people’s mind.

The exception is Simon Clarke’s Geographically Accurate Tube Map, which shows the actual shape of the underground system

Icon Magazine. (Issue 040 October 2006).Maps by Artists. Online [Available at] [Accessed on 18/3/2011]


flying high

This is my one and only time of gliding like a bird.
The feeling I had when doing this was terrific, it gave me a great sense of freedom.
What was amazing was how safe I felt.
I was so excited as I looked down at the people below on the beach, the view was so different from up here, I could see forever.


View from the Holiday Inn

I went to the restaurant in the Holiday Inn ( on the top floor) the view was amazing. I could see Drakes Island and Torpoint, the buildings all looked so small and I could see all the different angles and colours of the rooftops. When looking from the window I saw the roofs of the buildings way into the distance. The buildings looked as if they were top heavy, the roofs so big and the windows and doors so small. The greens looked as if they were plans on paper, the trees like bushes
It was a clear day and not very cold, only February, so good at the end of what I feel has been a long winter.