Frederick Vivian Thompson heavily used the stereo plotter in this role as an Instructor in Photography at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham, Kent.
Frederick Vivian Thompson was one of the pioneering designers behind the Stereo plotter. A stereo plotter uses stereo photographs to determine elevations. It has been the primary method to plot contour lines on topographic maps since the early 1900s when the need for high detail maps was needed for Military and Civilian use.
Frederick Vivian Thompson was born on 26th April, 1880. He received a commission in the Royal Engineers in 1898. Thompson began trialling his first designs to work out methods of topographic survey using stereoscopic photography in 1905 then later on in the Lake District in 1907. Though the Military were interested in his designs they were not fully prepared to fund his project or patent his plotter. Thompson wasn’t the only one developing ways to understand mapping, and was aware of other devices being invented, but his stereo plotter had become the basis for understanding the land. With today’s updated and computerised plotter the basic design can be traced back to Thompson’s original designs.
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