An alternative to the field survey method of acquiring hydrographic data is described. The technique involves the use of digitized color aerial photography in the derivation of the percentage of reflectance of shallow ocean bottom materials. These spectral reflectance values can then be used in an algorithm for calculating water depths. The reflectances that were derived in this study show a close relative comparison to ground truth information. After a discussion of the causes of discrepancies between derived and actual reflectance values, it is concluded that this method of data acquisition merits further investigation due to its high geometric fidelity, its simplicity, and its cost and time-saving benefits.

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