Saturday, September 03, 2005

Interrupting All Programs

Longstanding TYR colleague Kathryn Cramer has given over her blog lock, stock and barrel to providing sources of satellite imagery and geographic data, Google Earth/Maps hacks and such to those seeking information from New Orleans. The quality of what is available, and the depth of information (overlaying addresses, depths of water and damage reports onto high-resolution NOAA satshots) impressive.

Teh interwebs, eh. Strategic photoreconnaissance analysis is now not just for professionals. Now, at this moment I would have mentioned the woman who successfully identified the V-1 flying bomb, the V-2 rocket, the Me163 rocket fighter and the Me262 jet from RAF Photo Recce images in the second world war, making a huge contribution to the defence of the UK from a desk at RAF Benson...but I can't find any reference to her on line. Back then, methods included, well, creativity and not much more. The mysterious "tracks" on a photo of a grass airfield in Germany she spotted as traces of a jet aircraft after a trip to Boscombe Down to look at the traces of the Gloster E28/39 tests.

Partly that's because I can nearly but not quite not remember her name. Partly it's because even the history of women in the RAF on the service's website makes no mention of her. WTF? If anyone can jog my memory, fire away. Otherwise, I'll just have to visit the National Archives and ask for a copy of publication AIR41/7, Photographic Reconnaissance 1941-August 1945 which should make the nut.

I think even she would have been impressed with this, though.

Update: it was Constance Babington Smith. Thanks to commenters.


simon said...

That, my friend, was simply brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Constance Babbington-Smith?

from memory

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