Geoprocessing and Archiving of Historical Aerial Images

3 - 4 June 2019 (IGN Géoroom, 8 Avenue Pasteur, 94165 Saint-Mandé)

More and more countries have digitized or are currently digitizing their archives of aerial images. They are a unique and relatively unexplored means to chronicle land-cover information over the past 100 years with very high spatial resolution. Such data provide a relatively dense temporal sampling of the territories. 3D information can even be retrieved since many surveys were performed under photogrammetric conditions. Therefore, both long-term environmental monitoring studies and historical object detection can be based on the analysis of these very rich time series of images.

We have noticed in the last years an increasing number of scientific papers processing historical airborne images in parallel to an increasing effort of local and national mapping authorities for creating the most complete archives. In a timely manner, it appears necessary to evaluate the current status of the archive digitization process in Europe (from geoferencing to distribution policies) as well as to review current application fields.

This EuroSDR event took place at IGN in Paris, France. Presentations were made by representatives from industry, NMCAs and academia.

The workshop report can be downloaded here

If you have any questions about this workshop, please contact Clément Mallet ( or Sébastien Giordano (

Final program (pdf)

Day 1 - June 3rd, 2019


Lunch and registration


Welcome address and introduction to EuroSDR

Session 1: The process of digitizing and archiving


Archiving of historical aerial images: current status in Europe (pdf)
Sébastien Giordano & Clement Mallet - IGN (France)


The digital transformation of the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP): achievements to-date & next stage (pdf)
Allan Williams - National Collection of Aerial Photography (UK)


Preservation and digitizing of historical aerial images in Norway (pdf)
Hardy Buller - Norwegian Mapping Authority (Norway)


Analog/digital image processing of historical aerial imagery in the Italian National Photographic Aerial Archive (AFN-ICCD) (pdf)
Elizabeth J. Shepherd - AFN (Italy)


Coffee/tea break

Session 2:  R&D in geoprocessing historical images Archiving and geoprocessing 


Towards fully automatic orthophoto & DSM generation (pdf)
Arnaud Le Bris & Sébastien Giordano - IGN (France)


Machine learning methods applied to WWII aerial images (pdf)
Emre Ozdemir - FBK Trento (Italy)


Experiences with processing and co-registration of archival image datasets (pdf)
Maria-Valasia Peppa & Lesley Davidson - Newcastle University (UK)


Using point clouds from historical imagery for estimating site index in forestry (pdf)
Inge Myklebust - Blom (Norway)


Coffee/tea break

Session 3: Geoprocessing and use cases


Tracasa feedback on scanning and orthophoto generation (pdf)
Víctor García Morales - Tracasa (Spain)


Making it digital - Processing the aerial image archive of Sweden (pdf)
Anders Bygren & Emma Hedqvist - Swedish Mapping Authority (Sweden)


The digitization of IGN’s photo/cartographic archives and the web service “Remonter le temps” (“Go back in time”) (pdf)
Philippe Truquin - IGN (France)


Time Machine. Big Data of the Past for the Future of Europe 
Bénédicte Bucher - IGN (France)


Closure of meeting day 1


Get-together dinner

Day 2 - June 4th, 2019

Session 4: Geoprocessing and use cases




Historical orthophoto of Prague 1945 (pdf)
Patrik Meixner - Primis (Czech Republic)


Historical aerial images of Czechia - archiving and applications in landscape studies (pdf)
Petr Dušánek - Land Survey office (Czech Republic) & Markéta Potůčková, Jindřich Hodač - Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic)


3D Glacier monitoring with historical aerial images - from 1953 to today (pdf)
Daniela Poli, Markus Strudl, Kjersti Moe - AVT (Austria) & Christian Casarotto - MUSE (Italy)


Historical Digital Ortho of entire Lombardia region (pdf)
Patrik Meixner - Primis (Czech Republic)


A journey through time: Digitizing, processing and publishing historical aerial imagery in Switzerland (pdf)
Holger Heisig - Federal Office of Topography swisstopo (Switzerland)


Coffee/tea break

Session 5: R&D in geoprocessing historical images


Marked point processes for the automatic detection of bomb craters in aerial wartime images (pdf)
Christian Kruse - Hannover University (Germany)


Automatic land cover reconstruction from historical aerial images: an evaluation of features extraction and classification algorithms (pdf)
Rémi Ratajczak - LIRIS (France)


Automatic orientation of terrestrial and aerial archival images
Sebastian Flöry - TU Vienna (Austria)


Wrap up discussions / Recommendations for further work


End of meeting / Lunch

IGN Géoroom 
(Just 50m away from the IGN headquarter entrance) 
8 avenue Pasteur
94165 Saint-Mandé

An overview of hotels near IGN France can be found here.

Organized by
Sébastien Giordano (IGN France)
Clément Mallet (IGN France)
Fabio Remondino (FBK Trento, Italy)
Jon Arne Trollvik (NMA Norway)

Related projects

Media partner


Registration form