NOAA Photo Library Banner
Takes you to the Top Page Takes you to the About this Site page. Takes you to the Contacts page. Takes you to the HELP page. Takes you to the Credits page. Takes you to the Collections page. Takes you to the search page. Takes you to the Links page.
Historical C&GS | Geodesy

topography mapping the shoreline  banner

picture of men using instruments (plane table).The Topography/Mapping the Shoreline Collection contains over 40 images of plane table mapping of the shoreline. The plane table was introduced to the United States by Ferdinand Hassler, the first Superintendent of the Coast Survey. After beginning the shoreline mapping of the United States in 1834, the work progressed rapidly and within 100 years virtually all of the United States shoreline, with the exception of much of Alaska, had been mapped at least once by a Coast and Geodetic Survey topographic mapping crew. The detail of this mapping was sometimes incredible leading to criticism of the work as too costly. However, today the over 10,000 topographic maps produced by early Coast Survey topographers are the only scientific view that environmental scientists have of the extent of early wetlands, estuaries, and shoreline configurations. The topographic surveys also contain a record of the urban development of the coastline, particularly in areas of repeat surveys. Plane table mapping was replaced by aerial photography over a 25-year period beginning during World War I. The Coast and Geodetic Survey was among the leaders of the many agencies involved in the early development of aerial photography, or photogrammetry as it became termed when used as a mapping method.



collection viewing options banner
View ALL images contained in the collection. Click on thumbnails to view larger images.
Images are arranged by themes. Click on thumbnails to view larger images. Note that not all images are contained in the albums - select the above option to view ALL current images.

Historical C&GS ~ Geodesy Albums - Topography -
Mapping the Shoreline


Plane Table
Mapping

man with signal lamp
Photogrammetry



Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
NOAA Central Library

NOAA Privacy Policy | NOAA Disclaimer

Last Updated:
October 1, 2009