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The Information Management Public Lectures give attention to exciting advances in research and professional practice. The topics are diverse reflecting the importance and global extent of Information Management in today's society. The lectures are open to all members of the Dalhousie campus and surrounding community. Click here <> for the full schedule. We encourage you to attend in person, but if that is not possible you can access a recording on our website following the lecture. Live streaming is not currently available.

Setting the Sights on the Cities: Civilian Aerial Surveys in Canada during the Early 1920s

*Co-sponsored by the School for Resource and Environmental Studies & the School of Planning (Dalhousie)

Dirk Werle
Ærde Environmental Research

Lecture Details
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building,
6100 University Avenue

Abstract: This talk will examine and illustrate the civilian development and practical results of aerial photography in Canada immediately after the First World War (1914-1918). The collections of vertical air photos and their assembly in mosaic form, as well as the institutional arrangements of their creation under the Canada Air Board until 1925, represent an important part of Canada's remote sensing and mapping heritage. Re-purposing military aerial reconnaissance for civilian applications took similar pathways in the United States, the United Kingdom and France by focusing on urban settings. The study uses as primary evidence the actual air photos and digitally re-assembled photo mosaics of several Canadian cities to reveal nature and spatial extent of urban landscape features prevalent at the time. The study also explores relationships to the present-day situation and to previous mapping efforts in Halifax. Urban surveys carried out over Ottawa, Halifax, London, Calgary and Edmonton are highlighted. Annotated air photo mosaics are presented. It is argued that evolving format and detailed content of the largely experimental photography and mosaic compositions have retained significant scientific, heritage and educational value for comparative investigations involving more recent geospatial data and high-resolution satellite imagery of similar scale.

Biography: Dirk Werle graduated from McGill University in 1984. He taught air photo interpretation and environmental remote sensing at several universities in Germany and Canada during the 1980s and early 1990s. Over the past three decades he has contributed as a researcher, lecturer and advisor to the Canadian RADARSAT and related Earth observation satellite programs, working on environmental monitoring and resource analysis issues. He served as president and officer of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society for several years; he is a senior member of the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society and currently chairs the Board of the IOI-Canada Association of the International Oceans Institute, an NGO located in Halifax and in Malta. His current research interest is focussed on the technical evolution, institutional arrangements and practical adaptation of the modern "view from above."

Kim Humes, BPR
Administrative Assistant
School of Information Management
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Suite 4010
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Tel: 902.494.3656
Fax: 902.494.2451
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