Public Lab Research note


Results: Simple Aerial Photomapping session, EWB Symposium Without Borders, Davis, CA, 2014

by patcoyle | November 17, 2014 23:55 | 2,058 views | 0 comments | #11364 | 2,058 views | 0 comments | #11364 17 Nov 23:55

What I want to do

Continue to make potential users like Engineers Without Borders teams aware of the Public Lab DIY mapping tools.

My attempt and results

I did a workshop at an Engineers Without Borders Symposium Without Borders, at Davis, CA on 10/25/14. I've done this the last five years, on the Regional conferences on the Peninsula at YouTube's HQ, in Portland, at Cal Poly, in San Diego and this time in Davis. I also presented a poster at EWB-USA International Conference.

Again, the 90 minute session went by in a flash. Get ready ahead of time. Get balloons or kites ready. Be ready to attach rig. Be ready to go. Again it paid off. Everyone who wanted to fly the rig the kite got a chance to do so and that was a hit.

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Additional photos are on Flikr.

Also, fly first, get images; then come back and look at the vugraphs, and talk through the content. It’s good to start making the map with MapKnitter, then after a few images are placed, export it. Show how it's done, end-to-end with real live data.

We did a sign-in sheet with a Safe Plan of Action (SPA). I asked all to think about what was the worst that could go wrong, what the hazards were, and how we'd address them. We added their concerns and had everyone sign in with their name and email address.

We flew a 9-foot Levitation Delta, with a dual-juice-bottle rig with Canon A1200 infrablue with Wratten 25 internal filter and SX260HS visible, both running CHDK intervalometer scripts. We captured over 300 images on each camera.

We came into the classroom, went through the talk, opened Mapknitter placed a few images and exported the map.

I put the images in a shared Google Drive folder for the Symposium so we had shared access to add to the maps we started for visible, infrablue and NDVI.

NDVI images were processed from the infrablue images with Ned Horning’s Fiji Plugin.

[Thanks to Jeff Warren for fixing this issue, working now: Not sure why embedded maps aren't showing up below, seems like also a problem with older notes where had worked ok before. ]

The visible image map we started:

the infrablue map

and an NDVI map

The presentation is on-line.

The AutoDesk web application was used to make a 3D model from a few of the visible photos. Lots of distortion if the model is rotated, since only downward facing photos were used.

Questions and next steps

Continue to explore where the Public Lab tools can be used by groups like Engineers Without Borders and communicate what's new in way of tools and techniques.

Why I'm interested

The tools for aerial photomapping are so accessible if one needs current detailed aerial photomaps.


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