Work is currently underway on a new book showcasing the best images from ‘Britain from Above’.
We want you to add your favourite pics to a new ‘Britain From Above Book’ group on the website, so that you can play a part in putting the book together. Just add your images, give us some information on the places featured in them, and tell us why you think that they should make the final cut.
Aerofilms represents the only major source of aerial photography of Britain in the first half of the twentieth century – unrivalled in breadth and depth. The book will follow the history of the Collection up to and just beyond the Second World War, telling the fascinating story of the eccentric group of entrepreneurs, adventurers and aviation enthusiasts behind the company, who married the still fledgling technology of flight to the discipline of photography.
This group of showmen and pioneering stalwarts manufactured and sold a potent sense of place and identity to the British people. They were ‘Mad Men’ of the air, their photographs building a picture of ‘Brand Britain’ that still resonates today.
The book is scheduled for release in February 2014 – to coincide with a major ‘Britain from Above’ exhibition programme running across the UK – and is a joint publication between English Heritage and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and Wales (RCAHMW).
Your knowledge, enthusiasm and insight will help to bring ‘Britain from Above’ to life – so start adding your images today.
The images in the site have produced a great deal of excitement as members of the public are able to access and zoom in to these excellent historical aerial images, and contribute information to them.
The team are pleased to report that day one of the launch saw 5,000 registered members and over 1 million webpage views.
Over 16,000 images were available in the site on launch day, and more images will be uploaded over the remaining 2.5 years of the project with all 95,000 images online by the end of 2014.
With the website live and underway, the Britain from Above team looks forward to the remainder of the project which will include various outreach activities over the coming years.
Once again a big thank you to those who visited the site, registered and are contributing information to the images. We are confident that this will add immensely to the Aerofilms images and the quality of the record.
- the Britain from Above team
More than 16,000 images from one of the earliest and most significant collections of aerial photography of the UK have been made freely accessible online to the public for the first time.
The Britain from Above website is launched today – 25 June 2012 – by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales. It features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of over 1 million aerial photographs taken between 1919 and 2006.
The Aerofilms Collection embodies all that is exciting about aerial photography. Many shots were taken in the early days of aviation by ex-First World War pilots, from extremely low altitudes, a technique which was very dangerous. It shows just how far their pilots were willing to go for a great photograph.
The photographs featuring on the website date from 1919 to 1953, and have gone through a painstaking process of conservation and cataloguing. Due to their age and fragility, many of the earliest plate glass negatives were close to being lost forever.
The Britain from Above website features a high degree of interactivity and is designed to encourage wide public participation. Users can download images, customise their own themed photo galleries, share personal memories, and add information to enrich the understanding for each of the images. They are also invited to identity the locations of a number of “mystery” images that have left the experts stumped.
The Aerofilms Collection was acquired for the nation in 2007 when the company was facing financial difficulties. With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Foyle Foundation, English Heritage and the Royal Commissions in Scotland and Wales embarked on a programme to conserve, catalogue and digitise the collection and make it freely available online.
The number of images available to view on the website will continue to grow, and by 2014, some 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be visible online.
Here are a few example images from the collection. Click them to learn more.
|Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder||Queen Mary, River Clyde||Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens||St. Paul's Cathedral, London|
Video guides for the help are currently being created and will be added to the help page shortly. Until then you can use the textual guidance on how to make various types of contributions, namely comments and images, editing the wiki, adding keywords, annotating the image (adding a pin), and adding an Aerofilms image to a group.
We look forward to your contributions which will help all users to know more about these fantastic aerial images.
The Britain from Above team thank you for your participation in testing and adding information to the site. We encourage you to create a profiles, create and join groups and contribute infomation to the Aerofilms images.
Please use the help page to find guidance on how to add comments and images, keyword tags, and contribute to the wiki of an Aerofilms image.
Under the menu item Galleries you will find a group of images that are Unidentified. These Aerofilms images have no official location. If you know the location represented in one or more of these unlocated images we encourage you to contribute a coordinate by clicking on the link,"setting a new one", to the right of the image.
If you discover any issues with the website functionality please report the issue via the "report bug" link found at the top left of each of page in the site. We will deal with the reports in a timely manner to improve the site for the official launch in June.