Bird's eye view

DEFINITION

Depiction of a scene as if observed from a point in space by a 'flying bird' directly over the subject, the view includes the entire spread of the subject with a high horizon line allowing most of the composition to lie below it. Some Bird's-Eye Views are panoramic, as wide as three feet, and drawn by hand with the purpose of giving highly, accurate details including placement of trees. Bird's Eye Views, popular in the 19th century, pre-dated the common use of photographs to convey information. Much of the knowledge today of this subject comes from the research of John W. Reps, professor emeritus of city and regional planning at Cornell University and scholar on the history of American urban planning. He is among the first scholars to recognize city views as highly valuable historical documents. His book, "Cities on Stone, focuses on the historical origins of the Bird's Eye View. Source: Dr. Ron Tyler, "Texas Bird's-Eye Views"

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