Bird's-eye view

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Illustration by Friendlycat for a spanking story by Justine.

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Externally hosted image on Handprints: Handprints Drawings Gallery #200

A bird's-eye view is an oblique view of an object from above, with a perspective as though the observer were a bird, often used in the making of blueprints, floor plans and maps.

It can be an aerial photograph, but also a drawing. Before manned flight was common, the term "bird's eye" was used to distinguish views drawn from direct observation at high locations (for example a mountain or tower), from those constructed from an imagined (bird's) perspectives. Bird's eye views as a genre have existed since classical times. The last great flourishing of them was in the mid-to-late 19th century, when bird's eye view prints were popular in the United States and Europe.

The terms aerial view and aerial viewpoint are also sometimes used synonymously with bird's-eye view. The term aerial view can refer to any view from a great height, even at a wide angle, as for example when looking sideways from an airplane window or from a mountain top. Overhead view is fairly synonymous with bird's-eye view but tends to imply a less lofty vantage point than the latter term. For example, in computer and video games, an "overhead view" of a character or situation often places the vantage point only a few feet above human height.

Recent technological and networking developments have made satellite images more accessible. Resources such as Google Earth offer a complete bird's eye view of the planet. Satellite imaging programs and photos have been described as offering a viewer the opportunity to "fly over" and observe the world from this specific angle.

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  This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Bird's-eye view. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.