Blitzing the Bunkers: Finding Aids – Past, Present and Future

  • Peter McKeague
  • Rebecca H. Jones


Aerial photographic collections developed from the need for military intelligence, for cartographic mapping, for commercial gain or for specific targeted research. Over time, the value of historical aerial photography has been appreciated far beyond its original purpose, as it provides an irreplaceable record of the ever-changing landscapes and townscapes that surround us. Key to the reuse of these resources is access to the finding aids that index the individual photographs. It is argued that the potential of the information on traditional ledgers and sortie traces can be, and should be, unlocked through digitisation, to provide spatial indexes that may be accessed through remote Geographic Information Systems as part of integrated information resources delivered through spatial data infrastructures. The role of new and disruptive technologies is also considered to demonstrate the potential for accessing historical mosaicked imagery in browsers such as Google Earth.


Geographic Information System Aerial Photography Aerial Survey Spatial Data Infrastructure Raster Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Birger Stichelbaut for permission to reproduce the sample card index from the Box Collection. We are also grateful to Jack Stevenson and Dave Cowley for comments on earlier drafts of this chapter, but the views expressed in this chapter are those of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Survey and Recording, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of ScotlandEdinburghUK

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