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American Society of Landscape Architects


May 2005 Issue

A Bird's-Eye View
A look at aerial and satellite imagery.

By James L. Sipes, ASLA

A Bird's-Eye View Courtesy USGS

Understanding the world around us is a critical part of landscape architecture. The advent of aerial and satellite photographs has given us tools to see the Earth's surface through new eyes. These types of photographs show an incredible level of detail about landforms, vegetation, water bodies, forest fires, urban sprawl, and other physical features.

Many landscape architects are using aerial and satellite images with CAD and GIS programs, yet many do not have a clear understanding of how these images are created or of their intended use.

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