Kite aerial photography mixes work, play

27 March 2007 (Jakarta Post) – Not related to the archaeology of Indonesia, but this feature on the use of kites for photography presents a low-cost option for creating aerial photographs for archaeological applications. I haven’t heard of any major use of aerial photography for archaeology in Southeast Asia – yet.

Kite aerial photography mixes work, play

Flying kites as a hobby often implies child’s play, which is not too far off the mark. But rather than a mere pastime, kites also help in research and public service work — at least for Anshori Djausal, 55. His hobby has contributed much to aerial mapping.

Known as a pioneer of kite aerial photography in Indonesia, Anshori has been engaged in this activity since the 1990s, which has also taken him to several European and Asian countries to follow international kite festivals.

But he relishes his happiest moments as those through which his aerial photo experiments served research and mapping in Indonesia, aside from tourism development.

Aerial photography has typically utilized hot-air balloons, planes, helicopters and satellites. Kite aerial photography has become an alternative today because it is more practical and far less expensive than the use of aircraft or helicopters.

Today, kite aerial photography is an alternative method used in geographical mapping, planning and surveys, and through which data collection can be conducted easily, effectively and efficiently.

A 2-by-15 meter kite can be used for photographing with a pocket camera at a height of 100 meters and over and at wind speeds of 15-30 mph.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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