- © 2010 by the Seismological Society of America
Ever since 1858, when Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (pen name Félix Nadar) took the first aerial photograph (Professional Aerial Photographers Association 2009), the scientific value and popular appeal of such pictures have been widely recognized. Indeed, Nadar patented the idea of using aerial photographs in mapmaking and surveying. Since then, aerial imagery has flourished, eventually making the leap to space and to wavelengths outside the visible range. Yet until recently, the availability of such surveys has been limited to technical organizations with significant resources. Geolocation required extensive time and equipment, and distribution was costly and slow. While these situations still plague older surveys, modern digital photography and lidar systems acquire well-calibrated and easily shared imagery, although expensive, platform-specific software is sometimes still needed to manage and analyze the data. With current consumer-level electronics (cameras and computers) and broadband internet access, acquisition and distribution of large imaging data sets are now possible for virtually anyone.
In this paper we demonstrate a simple, low-cost means of obtaining useful aerial imagery by reporting two new, high-resolution, low-cost, color digital photographic surveys of selected portions of the San Andreas fault in California. All pictures are in standard jpeg format. The first set of imagery covers a 92-km-long section of the fault in Kern and San Luis Obispo counties and includes the entire Carrizo Plain. The second covers the region from Lake of the Woods to Cajon Pass in Kern, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties (151 km) and includes Lone Pine Canyon soon after the ground was largely denuded by the Sheep Fire of October 2009. The first survey produced a total of 1,454 oblique digital photographs (4,288 x 2,848 pixels, average 6 Mb each) and the second produced 3,762 nadir images from an elevation of approximately 150 m above ground level (AGL) on the southeast …