|Originally, just a local,
non-commercial community group which
widespread, independent individuals,
who provide mutual support, advice and publicity on the
application of kite aerial photography in heritage and
The West Lothian
Our Scottish National Aerial
Photography Scheme (SNAPS)
Scottish Charity SC043118
These pages are dedicated
to the memory of
Dr Alexander Wilson (Later Regius Professor of Astronomy)
© The Hunterian,
University of Glasgow 2012.
and his student,
Melvill, for their pioneering work, in 1749, on the use
kites as an aerial platform for
See also kite
aerial photography pioneers
R. Thiele, ,William Abner Eddy
(360 degree panoramas) and
E. Douglas Archibald (1897)
is often credited as the first kite aerial photographer but
any pre-Batut images (as far as we know) have not been verified or published.
Following normal scientific practice, credit should therefore
go to Arthur Batut.
was using kite aerial photography on an archaeological site
Archaeological Kite Aerial Photographers
Castlethorn hillfort top left.
Most photos were taken by
John and the late Rosie Wells and are
Lothian Archaeology and by Jim Knowles with the attribution © Jim
West Lothian Members
Jim Knowles FSA Scot
Archaeologist and Secretary
Responsible for archaeology and
Jim's first degree is in
Archaeological Sciences from
Bradford. He then undertook a
a postgraduate degree in
computing to extend his knowledge of computational programming. Jim
has worked as a professional archaeologist for a number of years.
His varied career has undertaken all aspects of archaeological field
work across many different areas, from prehistoric, battlefield and
industrial archaeology. Jim has a specialist knowledge of
archaeological prospection, including the use of magnetic, earth
resistance, ground penetrating radar and chemical methods to detect
and identify archaeological areas of interest. Also, he has a
interest in scientific analysis, including chemical and
metallurgical, and in computer use, including 3D modelling,
manipulation, spatial information use and programming.
Since leaving the
professional world of archaeology, Jim has taken up employment
as a support worker for autistic adults (http://www.autisminitiatives.org/)
across the West Lothian region and continues his interest in
archaeology and related subjects through the community group's
John Wells FSA Scot
aerial and broad
John is a graduate of the universities of
Warwick, Salford and Oxford (Corpus Christi
After leaving Oxford, and until retirement, he was a radiation research scientist at
Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories in Gloucestershire. John's primary interest is in
developing, and promoting, cost-effective techniques of archaeological/heritage
photography in a community context, from the near ultra-violet through to the
Machine vision and emerging technologies
Cade's first degree was an MEng in
Computer Systems Engineering from Bangor, Wales. His EngD was awarded jointly by
the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot Watt and Strathclyde for his
work on machine vision. Director at
Electronic Systems Engineer.
Kite aerial photography, local history and
SNAPS in primary schools
Ron is a
retired West Lothian primary school teacher and Chairman of the
History of Armadale Association.
Bronwen assists with Group kite
aerial photography sessions, flying the kites with cameras attached.
Bronwen assesses kites suitable for children and works with young children at
interpretation and aerial photography
Brian is a Linlithgow based archaeologist
specialising in rural settlement, community archaeology, historic environment
education and interpretation.
Members outside West Lothian
Kite aerial photography, digital
media, animation and visualisation
Kieran graduated with a BA first class honours in
animation and went on to complete an MSc with distinction in visualisation, with
a project based on KAP and structure from motion photogrammetry. He is currently
a PhD student at the University of Dundee investigating the role of the creative
practitioner within heritage representation. In his research, Kieran uses his
own practice as a KAPer and digital media artist, reflecting on his influences
within photography and film as well as querying how successfully a creative
approach sits alongside an archaeological understanding of the subject matter.
Alan Hunter Blair
BAJR and kite
Kite aerial photography
Structure from Motion
Susie has a first class
degree in photography and an MPhil in 3D Graphics from the Digital Design
Studio, both Glasgow School of Art. After 12 years working as a 3D video game
artist for Sony she returned to university to study archaeology at UCL, where
she completed an MSc with distinction in GIS and Spatial Analysis for
Archaeology. She is now working on a PhD, looking at the use of Structure from
Motion as a tool for Archaeological research. This involves, among other
subjects, the use of Kite Aerial Photography to create orthogonal images and
elevation models of archaeological sites.
aerial photography and archaeology
Just completing a BSc in Archaeology (already
has BSc in Prosthetics 1993). Specialising in near east dessert KAP, mainly for
the dept of Antiques and Museums in Kuwait. If all goes well he should be
continuing with a Research Masters using KAP as a source of images for producing
maps of Early Christian, Islamic, Bronze Age and Hellenistic sites on Failaka
Is. in the north of the Gulf. He has also used KAP and Helikite photography to
support research projects over the last two years for Durham University in
Spain, Kuwait, Nepal (in conjunction with UNESCO and National Geographic
Magazine), Ukraine, Bulgaria and UK. In July (2013), he will be working at the
Badgendon Oppida (Cirencester) to combine gradiometer surveys with aerial
photography (similar to other work he has completed in Nepal, producing
background images for ground penetrating radar surveys) and then having a week
or so at Silchester for Reading University.
Archaeology, scientific research
kite aerial photography
Researcher with the
multidisciplinary, multi-centre, DART
Project, based at Leeds University. David models contrast formation
parameters for archaeological deposits in hyper-spectral data and is a graduate
of the universities of Glasgow (Archaeology) and Edinburgh (GIS).
After preliminary courses at The
Slade and Stroud Art School, Heidi graduated with a first class honours degree
in Illustration (with John Hullah Award) from the University of the West of
England. She completed her studies with a Masters in Sequential Design and
Illustration from Brighton University. Heidi works as Design Manager at
Group members Heidi Walker, James
Kieran Baxter, Rosie and John at Kieran's MSc presentation in Dundee.
Cairnpapple KAP © Jim Knowles
Details of the Group's
equipment can be found on the
Forum Members of the West Lothian
knowledge is a valuable source of historical and
archaeological information. Often this information
arises as a result of someone asking a question about a
location, building or artefact. Examples are the gatepost at
Southrigg Farm and the questions
relating to the site of Ogilface
Although there are established bodies
for recording new archaeological sites and data, we thought
that it would be useful to set up a webpage with the contact
details of interested individuals and where queries and
information could be posted for preliminary consideration and
discussion if needed.
Forum members are individuals and organisations who have an interest in the
archaeology of West Lothian (buildings, 'sites of ', estates,
local history, field work, documentation, maps, geology,
technology etc). This list will not be selective, but it will
reflect those who can provide and/or wish to be kept informed
of archaeological matters. In this way, we hope to encourage
the exchange of information, to raise the profile and
knowledge-base of West Lothian's archaeology.
West Lothian Archaeology Group will apply photographic and
non-invasive geophysical techniques to investigate sites.
The use of kite aerial photography is a primary interest.
Rosie if you
would like to be listed
Can be contacted through
archaeologist specialising in human remains / taphonomy /
British Neolithic. Can be contacted through
Cavanagh West Lothian
Local History Librarian - Interest: Castles,
mansions and maps.
Contact: 01506 282491.
Dr Robin Chesters Director,
Heritage Trust - Industrial archaeology.
Old Roads of
Lothian) - GeraldCummins2aol.com
Nicholas B.L. Davis
Archaeological / Field Walking
Interest Group (Linlithgow/Abercorn area) from July 2009.
Contact person at
and Monuments Record Officer / Archaeologist)
Scotland Countryside Ranger. General interest: Archaeology
Interest: Field archaeology.
John Minelly Former
at Livingston Development Corporation.
steward and archaeologist. francesmurray617googlemail.com
John Reid Retired but
still interested. See Niddry. Can be
Jim Smalls Forest
Building historian with special
interests in castles, towers and fortifications, including
Dr Steve Sweeney-Turner
Currently expanding the historical source
and about to expand into the
oldest sources of Lothian and other
he trained as a linguist, graduating from the Universities of
Birmingham and Granada with a degree in Spanish and French,
and gaining post-graduate educational qualifications in
Sheffield and Edinburgh (Moray House). His lifelong interest
in art urged him to switch to primary, where he taught in
Lothian for over twelve years before going freelance as
artist, photographer and writer in 1985 and working for a
number of puppet companies in Scotland, England and Spain as
designer and translator. He was a founder member of West
Lothian Artists. He began learning Welsh and studying British
mythology as background to a fantasy work he was writing: this
developed into an interest in place-names, and he wrote,
illustrated and published West Lothian Place-names
in 1992 (afterwards online at
www.cyberscotia\west-lothian-place-names) with later
articles in Nomina and in Scottish Place-Name Society
publications. He spent over a decade building up a
circumstantial case for Cairnpapple’s being ‘The Middle
Sanctuary’: the site known to the Romans as Medionemetum.
This developed into four volumes (c2000 pages) based initially
on place-names and mythology but rapidly expanding into many
fields. Since early retirement from part-time art teaching in
2007, he has dedicated most of his spare time to a
comprehensive updating of his place-name works (forthcoming).
He is a member of West Lothian Writers (with some poetry and
prose published in the Ironstone magazines) and
cartoonist-in-residence for The Harburn Times.
Kinneil Fortlet, Antonine Wall, Bo'ness
(Formerly in West Lothian)
Near IR KAP
West Lothian History and Amenity Society
Archaeological Field Society
History of Armadale
Linlithgow Union Canal Society
West Lothian Local History Library
Archaeological / Field Walking Interest
Group (Linlithgow/Abercorn area)
resident: Nicholas B.L. Davis,