Story: Modern mapping and surveying

A stereoscopic operator at work

In this 1971 clip, an operator from the Department of Lands and Survey demonstrates how she uses a stereoscope to create a topographical map – a technique called photogrammetry. Looking through the stereoscope at the overlapping aerial photographs gives a three-dimensional view of the land, which enables her to trace the contours. Other details, such as rivers, are also recorded. Once checked against the land itself, a stencil of the contours is created. This is then printed with other stencils to create a topographical map.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: An inch to a mile. National Film Unit, 1971

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How to cite this page:

Melanie Lovell-Smith, 'Modern mapping and surveying - Aerial photography and maps', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Melanie Lovell-Smith, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 1 Aug 2018