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Determining the height a photo was taken from

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 480sparky, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. 480sparky

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    I have an old photo (taken in 1909) that I have determined precisely where (relative to the ground) it was taken from, but I'm wondering if it's possible to use the features in the image to mathematically calculate the height at which it was taken from.

    I have positively identified 6 houses that are still standing (easy to do with Google street view), so the latitude and longitude are easily determined. But I'm wondering if there's a way, using the know distances between these houses, to figure out how high the camera was when it took the image.

    Here is the image:

    [​IMG]

    The houses with the red dots are still standing. The image was taken from above this location.
     
  2. snerd

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  3. snerd

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  4. 480sparky

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    No help. The ones that address an existing image require the FOV of the lens used. As panoramic cameras used rotating slit shutters projecting an image onto film being passed over a cylinder, they inherently do not have a 'native' FOV as they could be adjusted to any up to 360°.
     
  5. Alex Baxter

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    Are you planning to recreate the photo?
    It may be difficult, it looks like a fairly wide angle lens, judging by the horizon. I'd be empirical and print the photo on acrylicor clear plastic, or even sketch on to clear plastic to match your phone/tablet, tape it onto the tablet and move the drone around until it matches. I'm not sure it could be done without knowing the lens angle, but I'd be more than happy to be corrected.. Look forward to seeing the results.
     
    mikekilroy1074 likes this.
  6. 480sparky

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    It was taken with a special panoramic camera. The camera rotates as film is drawn across a cylinder inside and uses a narrow slit for a shutter.





    It's easy to recreate such an image, even using a drone. Send 'er up, take a horizontal series of images and use special software to combine the images into a similar shot.


    Trying to overlay the image on a monitor will be an exercise in futility. Every lens has a unique amount and type(s) of specific distortions. So my lens will never that the same distortions the original image' lens exhibited.
     
  7. mikekilroy1074

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    Seems to me your wish is not fulfillable...

    Imagine the original shot with a 1:1 magnifier (word?), say it was as 500ft....

    Now put on 10x magnifier: same exact pix will be from lot higher and further away!

    So without access to the original camera and lens, finding the height and location seem to me to be 100% impossible.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  8. AndreKrige

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    Maybe you can use SketchUp 3D software to align the view. SketchUp has tools to set up a proposed model to match photos and the first step always starts with a photo of unknown specification. SU has a free version and there are some videos on YouTube to guide you.

    Good luck and keep us updated!


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  9. BlackCat

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    I have the precisely the same issue:aerial photo of my hometown taken around a hundred years ago. I also would love to produce the shot today. I was just going to take the original with me when I do the flight, and"eyeball" the screen to match the shot. Low-tech, but for my purposes, good 'nuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  10. Sagebrush

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    I think BlackCat is as close as my pay grade will go. Or at least rise up and take a pic every 50' and then compare and do it again.

    S Blvd is as straight as an arrow but in the photo it's curved so that gives one a hint about the lens. Out of curiosity, do you know what type of craft this was taken with? I'm wondering if it wasn't taken from a balloon.

    SB
     
  11. 480sparky

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    It's due to perspective. Even using a modern rectiliner lens and stitching multiple images, the result would be the same.

    Here's what a P3A does when stitching multiple images:

    [​IMG]

    The streets on the right and left are straight, and run parallel to each other.


    No info available, but I'd be willing to put rent money on a balloon used on a calm day.
     
    #11 480sparky, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016