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Transactions of the Symposium on Photo Interpretation

At that time, aerial photographs were mostly used for photogrammetric
mapping related to forestry, urban planning, dam construction, land reclama
tion and other projects, but not for photogeographic work. This was because
until the end of the war we had no experience of photogeography and no
organization responsible for it. Photogeographic studies have made only slow
progress among the geographers in the Geographical Survey Institute.
The fundamental research survey of land, and the comprehensive develop
ment of river basins were urgently needed, not only because of the shortage of
various resources due to the war damage, but also because of damage due to
the severe flood disasters in 1946, ’47 and ’48. Under such social circumstances,
laws were passed for land research, including a cadastral survey and a land
classification survey and for comprehensive land development.
As a result of the law for comprehensive land development, a land use sur
vey, using aerial photographs, began in 1952 after a two year trial survey. The
land use survey has been carried out mainly for the special areas subjected
to the comprehensive development plan, under the administrative and tech
nical supervision of the Economic Planning Agency and the Geographical
Survey Institute (Ministry of Construction), using the fiscal budget granted
by the national and prefectural governments. Up to the end of March 1962,
336 sheets of land use map on a scale of 1 : 50,000 had been printed in 11
colours. The same technique has been applied to Hokkaido, the most prom
ising district for comprehensive development in Japan, and the land use map
on the scale of 1 : 200,000 will be completed within some years.
The land classification survey, regulated by the law for land research, has
been carried out since 1951 to give the fundamental data for better land use
and land conservation under the supervision of the Economic Planning
Agency. In cooperation with geomorphologists, geologists and soil scientists,
technical regulations or manuals for land form classification survey, surface
lithology survey and soil survey were established in 1953. The Geographical
Survey Institute is responsible for the landform classification survey and 13
sets of landform classification maps, drainage and valley density maps and
slope gradient maps with explanatory text have been published as the pilot
sheets. The principle of landform classification is the analysis of microgeo-
morphological features on the aerial photographs. The same principle was
applied to the study of flood prevention by the members of the Science and
Technique Agency. The usefulness of this for flood prevention survey was
proved on the occasion of the Isewan Typhoon in September 1959. For this
reason, landform classification survey for flood prevention has been carried
out by the Geographical Survey Institute for the regions subject to inunda
tion due to river floods and high tide. The results of this survey have been
published as a set of maps and explanatory text for Tokyo District.
The making of photomaps began in 1961. As the base map for regional
planning, the Geographical Survey Institute compiled photomaps on the scale
of 1 : 25,000 with overlays showing land use, land type, place names and
other necessary information. This year the same techniques will be applied