Getting Started

Getting Started on Britain from Above!

Please visit the About the Project page to learn more about the Britain from Above project.

What is the site all about?

We invite you to take part in helping us identify and provide information about old aerial photographs of Britain. Simply register, search for images, and contribute information. You can add to the factual summary, add keywords, comments, photos and more (see how to contribute below).

There is also a social component to the site. When you register, a profile will be created for you. We encourage you to fill in this profile further and take a look at the profiles of other participants. In the menu you can also see that there is a "groups" section. Feel free to join groups that have already been started or create your own group. Groups allow members to discuss the Aerofilms images in the context of the group's theme.

See the information below on how to get started on the website or have a look at the How to Guide. (Eng | Cym)

For further guidance on using other tools on the website, see our Technical Help page.


How do I find Aerofilms images?

Basic searching - use the search box in the top right corner to conduct a "free text search"

Advanced searching - click on "more search options" below the search box to access the advanced search page. Search by map, by year, keyword, place name, or a combination of these.

Browsing - On the "browse" page you can browse the images by map or by keyword tag.


How do I contribute?

Once you discover an image that you would like to contribute to you can do so in the following ways:


Adding a comment/photo

Once logged in you can add a comment and attach a photo. Simply add your comment into the text field on the Image details & comments tab. You'll see that there's also a button to upload an image to go along with your comment. Replying to someone else's comment works in a very similar way. A "reply to this comment" link can be found under each comment. A pop-up box will appear where you can add your reply and submit it.

You can also edit or remove comments you have made.

Within a group, contributing comments and photos works in the very same way.


Adding a pin to the image

In the toolbar under the image you can see a link called "Add a pin". This lets you annotate the image by clicking on an area of the image and entering a comment (and uploading a photo if you like) to describe that area.

First, zoom into the image to the specific area you would like to comment on. Then click "add a pin" and click on that specific area of the image. A pop-up box will open where you can add a comment to the pin (you can also upload an image to go with your comment). Then click on the "Share" button. The page will refresh and a marker will appear on the image where you placed it. Clicking on the pin will open a bubble with your comment. The contribution will also appear under the “Image details & comments” tab with a pin beside it to show that it is an annotation.

The "hide pins" toggle in the toolbar allows you to turn the pin layer on and off.


Adding/editing a keyword

On an Aerofilms record page simply click on "edit tags" on the Image details & comments tab.

The tag should describe the image in some way. For example, if the image is of a railway bridge, any of the terms “railway”, “bridge”, or “railway bridge” would suit.

The tag words or phrases must be entered either one per line, like this:

railway bridge

or with commas separating them, like this:

railway, bridge, railway bridge

Any tag added will be included in the keyword tag list on the "Browse" page of the website, making it possible to search by keyword..


Contributing a geographic location

Under the menu item called "Galleries" there is an image gallery called "Unlocated". Unfortunately we know very little about these images and have no idea where they were taken. If you're able to provide a location for one or more of these you can click on the "setting a new one" link to the right hand side of the image. This opens a map in a popup and lets you zoom in and click on the specific location. The coordinates will fill in the boxes below the map and you can click "change position".

If someone else has contributed a location to an "Unlocated" image but you think it's not accurate, you can resubmit a better position by following the instructions above. Simply ignore the previously submitted pin on the popup map.


Adding an Aerofilms image to a group

If you see an Aerofilms image that you would like to discuss with a group you're a member of, simply select the group name from the dropdown list in the toolbar below the image. You'll then be prompted to add a comment to introduce the image to the group. Click the "Share" button to complete the addition of the image to the group.


Purchasing images

If you are interested in purchasing a digital image or print, please see our Image Sales page.