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.
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.
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.
In 1948, the Navy returned to SE Alaska, and flew more complete cartographic missions from which our topographic maps were produced. These are housed in a massive collection with 157 subfolders, shot between May and late August of that year. I’m unaware of any online source for the Southeast-wide collection, but am happy to share my copy with anyone who wants to work with them.