The Czech Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
The Czech Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (SFDP) is an interest group of professionals engaged in photogrammetry, remote sensing, laser scanning and geographic information systems. The Society was founded as the Czechoslovak Photogrammetric Society by the pioneers of photogrammetry from the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Technical University in Brno in 1930.
SFDP is a member of the international society, whose present name is the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). It was founded as the International Society for Photogrammetry (ISP) by Professor Doležal in Vienna in 1910. Eduard Doležal was born in the town of Moravské Budějovice and worked as an outstanding expert and in high academic functions at the Technical University in Vienna. His fruitful life was devoted to the science and to looking after his students’ material needs.
In the period between the two World Wars, technical development of aerial photography and photogrammetric restitution instruments made it possible to carry out topographic mapping on a 1:20 000 scale by the Military Geographic Institute using aerial stereophotogrammetry in the area of 67 000 sq. km and terrestrial stereophotogrammetry in the area of 1600 sq. km as early as 1933-1939. The total area of Czechoslovakia was 140 508 sq. km at that time.
From the very beginning of the SFDP, its representatives took an active part in most of the ISP Congresses (except for the interruption during the World War II and also later on due to restrictions of international activities until the end of fifties). Cooperation with the ISP was re-established in 1960. At that time, aerial photogrammetry had already become the most frequent method for topographic mapping and played a decisive role in the new topographic mapping of the entire territory of Czechoslovakia (127 900 sq. km) on a 1:25 000 scale within less than 5 years (1953-1957). Research activities resulting in an ambitious project predominantly of photogrammetric mapping on large scales for real estate registration needs and urban planning (1961-1990) attracted a lot of international attention and appreciation.
The contribution of Czech and Slovak photogrammetrists to the development of the world of photogrammetry was rewarded with putting Czechoslovakia in charge of chairing the ISP Commission IV (Mapping by Aerial Photography) for the 1964-1968 period at the General Assembly of the ISP Congress in Lisbon (1964). Ladislav Skládal was appointed chairman of Commission IV. Hitherto unknown Czechoslovakia was also bidding (in vain) to host the next ISP Congress.
At the ISP Congress in Lausanne (1968), L. Skládal was elected the 2nd vice chairman of the ISP It was a result of his previous activities – namely a successful organization of the ISP Commission IV Conference in Prague (1966) hosting several hundred photogrammetric professionals from the whole world. It was the first ISP Conference held in the Eastern Block. The Congress highly appreciated the documentation offered to all interested members about the “Photogrammetric Test Field Pecný” used for international testing of photogrammetric mapping. P. Gál, a Slovak professor of photogrammetry, was appointed chairman of the ISP Commission VI (Bibliography, Education and Terminology in Photogrammetry) for the 1968-1972 period.
In the period between 1968 and 1990, Czech representatives presented national reports on photogrammetric activities in Czechoslovakia but without any ISP personal activities. After the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989 and the beginning of the Czech Republic in 1993, a new generation of photogrammetrists including university and PhD. students took over new international contacts. Lena Halounová, as the present SFDP chairperson and Remote Sensing and GIS specialist at the Czech Technical University in Prague chairing the ISPRS Financial Commission is one example among many others.
Comparing with photogrammetry, remote sensing represents a more recent scientific branch penetrating into Czechoslovakia at the end of seventies. The Centre of Remote Sensing founded in Prague in 1979, dealt with the interpretation of satellite photographs of Soviet origin and helicopter multispectral images of its own. The main purpose was to identify the damage of vast forest areas caused by industrial air pollution, perform forest classifications, use new methods in archaeological research, to record and analyze reclamation phases of large brown coal open pit mines and dumps, to detect soil pollution due to pipeline breakdowns and water body thermal pollution caused by power station waste water.
SFDP members rank among the top managers of the digital aerial image collection of the entire Czech Republic. Projects from 2003-2011 were of a three year interval while those from 2012 will be of a two year interval.
Georeferenced digital image data are used for the orthophoto imagery with a 0.25 m ground resolution.
The project of the new hypsometry of the Czech Republic (2012-2015) based on airborne laser scanning (processed into the 5×5 m grid model, TIN high accuracy DTM, and digital surface model) belongs to the latest activities. Large private companies are equipped with terrestrial laser scanners and mobile mapping systems allowing 3D historical monument models, street house facades, and 3D data measurement of motorway sections.
After a certain reduction of analogue photogrammetry, the commencement of digital photogrammetry began in 1995 and the full renaissance of photogrammetry arrived around 2000. The changeover to digital photogrammetry was completed with the entire implementation of the digital aerial image data collection and processing in 2010.