Air Photo Interpretation 1 - Fundamentals

Air Photo Interpretation 1 - Fundamentals

Areas of Study: Exploration and Geology

Qualifies for CMS

Qualifies for Certification

This course is the first in a set of two courses on Air Photo Interpretation, which are a must for anyone who needs to understand and apply the basic principles and techniques. The first course covers stereoscopic vision, scale, stereogram construction, optical distortions and techniques for stereo viewing.

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Certification available for Not Available
  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 10 hours

Course Summary


Air photo interpretation is a powerful technique that can be used to identify a wealth of geological, environmental and man-made features. The technique can be applied to:

  • mineral exploration and mapping,
  • mining and resource extraction,
  • engineering, and
  • logistics and planning.
Air Photo Interpretation is a set of two courses: a must for anyone who needs to identify and apply the basic principles and techniques. In these courses, you will examine many air photos and learn the techniques of air photo interpretation. Topics covered in Air Photo Interpretation 1 - Fundamentals include stereoscopic vision, scale, stereogram construction, optical distortions and the techniques of stereo viewing. Air Photo Interpretation 2 - Applications covers how to identify features on vertical air photos, and the many applications of air photo interpretation to mineral exploration, mining, engineering and environmental studies, illustrated by detailed case studies and numerous photographic examples.

Course Content

The course comprises 18 learning sessions, each of 15 - 30 minutes duration, plus supporting figures, tables, images, references, examples and interactive reviews that confirm achievement of the learning objectives. The total duration of the course is estimated at 8 hours.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and apply the basics of aerial photography, camera optics and geometry, photo scale and how to calculate it, and photo distortions and parallax.
  • Successfully perform three-dimensional viewing of air photo pairs, based on tests of your stereoscopic vision capabilities and practical vision exercises.

Recommended Background

  • High school science.
  • Familiarity with maps.
  • Observant disposition and eye for detail.

Dr. Selina Tribe

Dr. Selina Tribe is a faculty member at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Douglas College, where she teaches geology and mineral exploration. She has more than 20 years' experience mapping rocks, minerals and landforms on Earth, and as far afield as Mars. She has worked as a Professional Geoscientist for mineral exploration and resource development projects throughout North America. She serves as director of the board of Sego Resources Ltd. She has written articles and courses on aspects of geology, and mentors junior geologists and engineers.

Dr. Tribe holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in geology from Simon Fraser University, and Master of Science and Honours Bachelor of Science degrees in geology from University of British Columbia. She is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia since 1999, and the International Society for Promotion of Geoethics.