The internet has turned
into a great tool for fly fishermen seeking new water to fish, or a
better understanding of the water bodies they already fish. More
and more anglers are turning to aerial photo maps available on line
for a birds eye view lakes, rivers, and coastal estuary's. I
have already detailed in one article on this web site, means for
locating and using aerial photo imagery from the internet to find good
In a recent e-mail,
Darrel Black let me in on a trick to improve the quality of the
imagery that is available on line, using software that you already
have on your computer. Darrel informed me that he is able to
improve the imagery available from terra server and other mapping
sites by processing the images with one of the photo touchup programs
found on most computers.
I have Micro Soft Photo
Editor, it came with my Microsoft Office Tools Package. I was
easily able to improve imagery from terra server using this program.
To enhance an image that you find on a web site, you first have to
download the image to your computer. At Terra Server, there is
an icon that appears on the screen above aerial photo images that says
"Download". If you click the download icon, the
picture is reformatted, you then only have to right click your mouse
on the picture and select "save picture as" from the drop
down menu. You can then name the images and save it on your hard
drive. From some other on line mapping services, you may only
need to right click on the original image and select "save
picture as" to save it.
Once the image is saved
to your hard drive, you can open it in Photo Editor, or any other
photo touch up program, and begin improving it. In photo editor,
once I open the image, I select the "Image" drop down menu
from the tool bar, then select balance. By simply adjusting
(usually increasing) the brightness, contrast, and gamma settings, I
am able to make an aerial photo image much sharper, and bring more
detail into focus. Darrel says that on some images he is
actually able to bring out bottom detail that was not present before.
While improving aerial
photo images requires you to save them to your hard drive, this is not
such a bad thing. If you are saving imagery of an area you will
fish frequently, you will no longer need to log onto the internet to
view your map of the area.