It has been widely suggested that space photography may be used for updating maps of transportation networks. Proponents of the argument have suggested that color space photographs of the resolution obtained with Hasselblad 80 mm lenses (about 300 feet) contain enough useful information to update the extensions of major U. S. highways. The present study systematically documents for the Dallas-Fort Worth area the potential of such space photography in detecting, and to a lesser degree identifying, the existing road networks. Color separation plates and an enlargement of the color photograph were produced and all visible roads traced onto transparencies for study. Major roads and roads under construction were the most visible while lower class roads and roads in urban areas had the poorest return. Road width and classification were found to be the major determinant in visibility, varying from 100 per cent visible for divided highways to 15 per cent visible of bladed earth roads. In summary, space photographs of this resolution proved to be difficult to use for accurate road delineation. Only super highways in rural areas with the greatest road-width were completely identifiable, the width being about 1/3 that of the resolution cell.
INSTRUMENTATION AND PHOTOGRAPHY