A photograph of the earth's surface taken from a platform flying above the surface but not in orbit, usually an aircraft. Aerial photography is often used as a cartographic data source for basemapping, locating geographic features, and interpreting environmental conditions.
is the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken by a photographer, triggered remotely or triggered automatically. Platforms for aerial photography include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters,balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, poles, parachutes, and vehicle mounted poles. Aerial photography should not be confused with Air-to-Air Photography, when aircraft serve both as a photo platform and subject.