Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum 

by  

Sarah Pick 

This webpage was created to satisfy requirements for the Small Format Aerial Photography
course (ES 555) during the summer of 2012 at
Emporia State University. 

Table of Contents

Introduction Data Collection
Processing the Images Aerial Photos of the Museum
Discussion Sources
 
 

Introduction 

Small format aerial photography (SFAP) is a method of gathering ground images using kites and blimps. Cameras are attached to specialized rigs in order to send them up in the air while the photographer remains on the ground. The obtained images are then processed, enhanced, and interpreted to study changes in man made and natural features. This method of gathering data is highly dependent on the weather. Obviously, wind is needed in order to fly kites, but it's ideal if the wind is between 10 and 15 miles per hour. Wind is a negative factor when using a blimp.

This report is over the ESU summer 2012 SFAP course on their trip to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas. The main goal of this trip was to acquire images of the area that used to be the Eisenhower's vegetable garden. Unfortunately, it was fairly calm in the late morning, early afternoon hours and what wind occurred was blocked by the trees surrounding the area. Also, due to a lack of helium, the blimp could not be used. It wasn't until midafternoon when the wind began to pick up and the large rokkaku kite was able to stay aloft with the lightest camera. Still, the trees around the desired area continued to block the wind, so no vertical shots were taken, but several oblique shots were taken from the area where the kite was launched.  


Putting the kite together. Photos by K. Simmons, 2012.

Getting ready to launch the kite. Photo by K. Simmons, 2012


It took several tries to get the kite to stay up. Photo by S. Pick, 2012.


Attaching the camera rig to the kite. Photo by S. Pick, 2012.


Zoomed in images of the camera rig. Photo by L. Gerber, 2012.

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Data Collection 

After the camera was brought down, the aerial photographs were saved and then downloaded onto a computer. The original images were not perfect as they had tilted horizons or were blurry. These images were adjusted in Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop was also used to make changes in the overall brightness, contrast, and sharpness of the images. Note that in the below images all of the horizons are level. This was done so that there would be more focus on the changes made in brightness, contrast, and sharpness than on the change in the horizon.  

before
after
Original and enhanced images looking north of the launch site. Note that the enhanced image is brighter and not as fuzzy.

before
after
Original and enhanced images looking west of the launch site.

before
after
Original and enhanced images looking south of the launch site.

before
after
Original and enhanced images looking west of the launch site.

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Processing the Images 

For the report, several oblique shots were pieced together in an attempt to create a panoramic view of the study area. Images were enhanced with Adobe Photoshop and then stitched together with a program called D Joiner. The enhanced images that were stitched together are shown below. 

Looking northwest of the launch site.

Looking west of the launch site.

Still looking west of the launch site.

Looking west southwest of the launch site.

Still looking west southwest of the launch site.

Looking south southwest of the launch site.

Image stitched together in D Joiner before cropping.

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Aerial Photos of the Museum 

Originally, a total of nine images were selected to create a more extensive panoramic image. However, there were several issues including differing dimensions between images and error messages stating that the residual was incorrect. In the end, six images were used to create a panoramic image that faces west. Note that in the image before cropping, the images look as if they are positioned at different angles. This is due to the camera having a differing angle between images. The stitched image was then cropped in Photoshop, as seen below.
 


Cropped D Joiner image looking west of the study site.

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Discussion 

Small format aerial photography is a fairly inexpensive method of obtaining aerial photos of a particular area. While using the kite at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum did not get the area of interest, the oblique shots of the rest of the site were of high enough quality to achieve an aerial view of the surrounding area. And, by using imaging processing software such as Adobe Photoshop and D Joiner, images could be created with a higher quality in order to aid with studying the area.

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Sources 

Aerial photos were taken during the class field trip to Abilene on Tuesday 12 June 2012.

Field photos were taken by Lindsey Gerber, Sarah Pick, and Katie Simmons, 12 June 2012.

All other data collection and manipulation by Sarah Pick.

 

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