Aerial surveys are particularly useful when you are planning to construct a house or a building. An aerial photograph would give you an idea of the topography of your location, and might also be a good way to research a potential market if you are planning to establish a store or business. An aerial photograph is also a great way of showcasing the beauty of a landscape or tourist spot. Aerial photography requires a bit of specialization, though, and not just any photographer can take an aerial view.
Here are some ways you can have an aerial photograph taken.
Aerial surveyors. Aerial photography is an essential tool in the field of infrastructure. When building roads, bridges and other such structures, precise measurements are important. For this purpose, there are companies specializing in aerial surveying that can capture aerial photographs of just about any location. These companies use special aircraft with mounted cameras. The airplane would then do several fly-bys over the place, and the camera takes automatic shots of the intended areas. These cameras are often connected directly to a computer and a global positioning satellite (GPS) device, so that the exact position of a photograph can be computed. This would be useful for stitching together photographs taken from different spots above-ground.
Some aerial surveyors would also be able to plot an aerial photograph alongside geographic information systems (GIS) data. This way, you don’t only get to have an aerial photography, but you also get other data, like roads, establishments, land elevation, and the like.
Photography from rooftops. Aerial surveying is an expensive activity, though, requiring the use of specialized equipment and highly-trained professionals. If you only intend to capture a bird’s-eye view of an area, you might be able to do so from a tall building. Any photographer who has experience with doing wide-angle shots, and the equipment to do so, will suffice in this case. One disadvantage, though, is that the photograph would be at an angle and not taken from straight up.
Licensing and approvals. When taking aerial photography, keep in mind that not all places can be freely photographed. For example, the White House is a definite off-limits area, in that it should not appear in any aerial photography due to security reasons. The same goes for other sensitive government buildings and installations. In some cities and states, you would be required to secure an approval from the local authorities before you can capture aerial photographs. In some places, it’s even illegal to take photographs of buildings without permission, unless it will be under the “fair use” principle.
Aerial photography is definitely not as simple as taking photos from the air. Much work is involved, from seeking permits, to stitching photographs, and synchronizing this with geographic and satellite data. If you will be using this for business, and if you have funds, then hiring a professional aerial surveying company would make sense. Otherwise, you can perhaps make do with existing aerial photographs and satellite images available online.