[Talk-us] Public Labs/balloon mapping?

Nelson Minar nelson at monkey.org
Mon Oct 28 15:21:06 UTC 2013

> Has anyone here used balloon mapping or these tools (or similar ones) who
> can share experience, pitfalls, etc.?

Public Labs is terrific. I think it shares a similar spirit to OSM in
trying to demystify mapping, to put cartographic tools into the hands of
ordinary people.

Last year I tagged along on a weekend excursion to produce a high
resolution aerial image of Dolores Park in San Francisco. I wrote that
experience up on a blog post, also see below for a link to a Leaflet map of
the image (albeit with no cartographic base map for context, sorry.)

Those images were taken from a height of 200 or 400 feet. At that height
with ordinary cameras you get a very narrow field of view, good for
photographing individual people but not so useful for tracing a road
network. It's a great technology for taking specific, up-to-the-day images
of particular points of interest.

One specific tool worth looking into is MapKnitter, web-based software for
compositing multiple aerial images, correcting perspective, stitching, etc.
Details at URL below, the video is a good intro to how it works.

I wonder if there's a DIY drone community out there also playing with
aerial imagery.
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