Paul Backhouse is the head of archive and digital asset management for Historic England, responsible for ensuring the safe keeping and accessibility of 14 million objects including four million aerial photographs.
For Historic England, Paul’s work means drones can provide a useful low-level aerial platform for recording historic buildings, monuments, archaeological sites and landscapes.
They can carry a wide variety of sensors including cameras, multi/hyperspectral imaging units, and laser scanners. The organisation has said that drones can provide dramatic illustrative photographs of sites, but can also be used to create metrically accurate records for survey and conservation work.
Historic England has used drone acquired imagery since 2008 and has built up long experience of using such platforms alongside other means of capturing low-level aerial imagery such as masts, kites, balloons, helicopters and planes.
There is a growing use of these aircraft across the heritage sector. The imagery and data they capture can be used across multiple applications including monitoring, presentation, interpretative display, multimedia journalism, surveying, mapping and recording.