28 October 2011

Aerial Photo of UBD

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, UBD published a booklet with lots of interesting photographs, including this aerial view of the campus:Unfortunately, this photograph has been printed the wrong way round! To confirm this, have a look at this scan from page 6 of the Brunei Darussalam Street Directory:Notice that the road bends to the right before reaching the T-junction; and the mosque is to the right of the road (i.e. the east); but in the aerial photo, the road bends to the left, and the mosque is on its left, suggesting it is in the west of the campus.

There are two interesting things about this. First, even though I am quite familiar with the layout of the UBD campus, it was hard for me to confirm that the photo was wrong, even after my geographer colleague, Bill Duane, pointed it out. I had to compare it with the map before I was able to convince myself that he was right. I guess most of us do not have very well-developed spatial awareness, apart from geographers who are trained in that kind of thing.

Secondly, how did it get inverted? In the days of analogue photography, with negatives and so forth, inverting a photograph was common; but in the modern age, when most photographs are digital, that should not be possible (unless someone wanted to do it deliberately, which seems rather unlikely in this case). This suggests that the photograph must have been taken with an old-fashioned analogue camera.