2020 | Richard Carstensen |

Navy aerials, 1929 and 1948

Most of Lingít Aaní is covered by early black-&-white vertical (nadir) air photography that can be georeferenced to create historical series. For our home ground here in Áak’w and T’aakú Aaní, you can now access many of them online.

The 1926 and 29 missions are hosted by the National Archives. Their tri-lens photos, resembling butterfly bandages, are organized in alphabetized folders according to the flightline letters. Locally, the mainland flightlines from 1929 are z04  z05, and z06  as shown on this index. Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island) was flown in 1926, covered by lines DI-1 DI-2 and DI-3.

Flight index for the Navy’s first photo missions. The 1926 flight lines are roughly indicated in white. Individual photopoints for the 1929 photos are marked as red points. Notice that in both cases, planes flew to the end of a line, turned, and flew back the opposite direction on the parallel, returning line, as reflected in the exposure numbers. Regrettably, we don’t seem to have coverage northwestward from Áak’w Táak, behind the little lake (M-valley) until most of the way to Daxanáak, between 2 points (Berners Bay)

Adjacent images on cartographic flight lines are designed to overlap at least 60%, so that every point on the landscape is captured by more than one photo. This allowed cartographers to assemble continuous mosaics, known today as orthoimages. An additional benefit of the overlap is that we can juxtapose 2 photos for a stereo view.

Downtown stereopair for 1929, six years before the channel spanning bridge is built. Standing water in Evergreen Bowl. Longest pier will become today’s Wharf. Smoke rises from wigwam burner in lower right. At bottom, waste rock from AJ mine is spread into the channel like fanned tailfeathers, foundation of today’s Rock Dump.

Partly because the earliest B&W air photography was lower resolution than today’s extraordinary aerials, I routinely prepare stereograms like this one for J-town, to extract maximum information of ‘original’ pre-development or early-seral condition.

My page on stereo-photography links to more JuneauNature 3D essays and stereo-resources.