A high-winged aircraft being used for aerial reconnaissance by the Historic England Remote Sensing team, over Fyfield Down in Wiltshire on 06-JUL-2006 © Historic England

Airborne Remote Sensing

Historic England uses airborne remote sensing methods to identify record, illustrate and monitor the condition of a wide variety of heritage assets.

The archaeological use of aerial photography continues to transform our knowledge of archaeological landscapes. Newer techniques such as lidar are revealing even more information.

Specialist airborne observers undertake aerial reconnaissance to identify and photograph historic sites, particularly those revealed through cropmarks.

Ground based archaeological air photo interpreters analyse thousands of historic and recent photographs, and 3d data from airborne laser scanning (lidar) to create maps of entire archaeological landscapes.

Historic England continually assesses and encourages the development of new techniques and provides advice on their use for a variety of heritage purposes. We have recently reviewed our Aerial Investigation and Mapping technical standards and methods: see the resulting review report.

Research Reports Map

Explore our research reports with this map, which is an on-going project, showing a selection of research reports for place-based projects published after 2006.

We have begun with non-invasive surveys, we will add details of scientific analysis, such as tree ring dating and archaeobotany. Over time we aim to show all reports for place-based projects here.

Research Reports Map