Kite Mapping
kite-mapping

Kite mapping is similar to [balloon mapping](/wiki/balloon-mapping), but uses kites to lift cameras to take aerial photographs. With kites and a 5-20 mph wind, many of the objectives of balloon mapping are possible without helium or balloons. If you want to map a site with consistent winds, you may be in luck! Kite Aerial Photography [has a large and active community of practitioners](http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/discuss/) which is focused on high-performance kites that can lift large loads and/or fly in very light winds. Here, we're especially focused on [We sell a kite mapping pack with two kites and a lot of tails to help you get going.](http://store.publiclab.org/collections/mapping/) ### Towing kites Kites can also be used in large flat areas with no power lines or trees, such as on oceans or lakes, beaches, or deserts, by towing them behind a boat, car, or bicycle. Keep in mind that going downwind will drop the speed of your kite. ## Activities [activities:kite-mapping] **** ## Questions [questions:kite-mapping] **** ## Choosing a kite ### Commercial kites Kite Aerial Photographers, or KAPers, often select expensive kites which can lift large weights, and many use heavier, customizable cameras such as digital SLRs with remote control targeting or stabilization. If you just want to put a camera in the air for the lowest cost and highest reliability, we recommend a few different relatively inexpensive kites, paired with the [PET Bottle Rig](/wiki/pet-bottle-rubber-band-rig). We sell two kites and a 15' Fuzzy Tail for high-wind flying, together as [our Kite Mapping Pack](http://store.publiclab.org/collections/mapping/products/kite-mapping-pack): [9ft. Dazzle Delta](http://www.gombergkites.com/g-delt.html) is only $46 and a very good, easy flier. It doesn't pack down very small, but is a very affordable and high quality light wind kite. [7ft. High Sky Delta](https://www.gkites.com/store/) is only $30 and a great complement to the Dazzle Delta, providing easier flying in high winds. [Levitation Delta](http://www.intothewind.com/shop/Traditional_Kites/Delta_Kites/ITW_9-ft._Levitation_Delta_Kite) - ($65) 9 ft. wide - a strong and stable flyer in 7-20mph winds. In high winds it can take some effort to reel in, as it has a lot of lift. The spars all split in half and it packs down easily to 40." Good, high flying angle. Also available in 7 and 11 foot versions for high and low winds. [Zenith Delta](http://www.shop.thirdcoastkites.com/ZENITH-gk1011.htm) - ($70) 7 ft. wide - This one is fantastic, a strong and stable flyer in even light winds (7mph). Not as much lift as the Levitation and it doesn't break down as small, but it is easier to handle in high winds. A great all-around kite. [Fled](http://www.brooxes.com/newsite/BBKK/kitesales.html) - ($110) stable, strong, very light-wind kite that flies at a line angle of 65 - 70 degrees. This kite is very quick to set up and simple to adjust. It flies in a wide range of conditions, and is a "go-to" kite for many KAPers. The high line angle is very useful for flying in tight spaces. [Gomberg Delta Conyne](http://www.shop.thirdcoastkites.com/GOMBERG-DELTA-CONYNE-gk1005.htm) - ($37) - Harder to launch, and not great in light winds, but once it's in the air it's a stable flyer. A favorite of the Gowanus Conservancy in strong winter winds. [A chart for comparison](https://web.archive.org/web/20130121161929/http://www.kaper.us/basics/comparekite_R.html) ### Kite Making Making your own kite is great -- designs can range from easy and quick to bigger more ambitious one that can be more portable, stronger lifters, or light-wind flyers. > [Kite Making](/wiki/kite-making) **** #### Delta kites are a quick build, and very effective Mathew has [step by step instructions as well as a spreadsheet of dimensions for a quick-to-build DIY Delta Kite](/notes/mathew/7-19-2012/easy-cut-delta-kite-plans). This is a proven design that flies well. He uses tvvek and bamboo, but wooden dowels and plastic sheeting will work as well. [Astoicof wrote great build notes and a PDF on using plastic sheeting to make a delta kite.](/notes/astoicof/9-12-2012/call-it-delta-maybe). Jeff Warren and kids at Parts and Crafts have gotten good results from a [mylar copy of the Dazzle Delta.](/notes/warren/7-18-2012/mylar-delta-kite-design). Safidy has been playing with [NASA's Kite Modeler](/notes/safidy/7-3-2012/nasa-kite-modeler) software and making [DIY deltas](/notes/safidy/7-26-2012/diy-light-delta-kite). #### Non-Deltas [Grassroots Mappers in Peru](http://publiclaboratory.org/notes/anita/3-21-2012/kite-mapping-workshops-puno-peru-pt-2-univ-nacional-altiplano-jayllihuaha-mapp) have [had good luck with plastic and bamboo kites.](https://plus.google.com/photos/117256558637209065596/albums/5722207824983334049?authkey=CPejutOj3uLa7QE) Mathew also made a series of [Tyvek and Bamboo Fled kites](http://publiclaboratory.org/report/tyvek-fleds-theoretical-actual-performance) based on the designs of Brooks Leffler. The third has been extremely successful at lifting cameras to very high flying angles, and he can now recommend others to build the same. follow his instructions in the link above. Leo Famulari has notes on [kite bridle adjustment](/notes/lfamular/8-15-2012/diamond-kite-bridles) ### Other Kite Building Resources [Kiteplans.org](http://www.kiteplans.org) and the [Kitebuilder](http://www.kitebuilder.com/forums/index.php) forums are great online resources. The book [One-hour Kites by Jim Rowlands](http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=4850847) provides excellent plans and construction details. [Dan Kurahashi's Japanese Kites, Concepts and Construction](http://www.worldkitemuseum.com/data/giftshopdata.html) has more great plans, great charts on predicting lift, and some excellent instructions on making plastic bag kites. ### Published literature pertaining to KAP [Nathan Craig's Mendeley Group](http://www.mendeley.com/groups/1225421/kite-aerial-photography-kap/) may require setting-up a free, public account....


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
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Haikiuser "wowo great bro.. keep going and thank you for share it " | Read more » about 4 years ago
liz "Hello again after a long time @John_Wells ! It is certainly great to hear from you. :smiley: " | Read more » about 4 years ago
John_Wells "Seven posters from 2012 on our community kite aerial photography leading up to SNAPS: https://web.archive.org/web/20170223141258/http://armadale.or..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
John_Wells "International Register of Applied Kite Aerial Photographers: http://armadale.org.uk/groupmembers.htm Imaging must have a scientific/environmental/a..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
John_Wells "UPDATE This project finished in 2016 and is archived here: https://web.archive.org/web/20181215171341/http://www.armadale.org.uk/snaps.htm It is a ..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
John_Wells "UPDATE Here is a link to my more recent efforts: http://www.armadale.org.uk/aerialthermography.htm I have a related Facebook page: https://www.f..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
liz "This is a really cool kite, and your documentation on attaching a camera is also great. Have you been flying lately? " | Read more » about 4 years ago
kakniken "Mapknitter? Sounds nice. https://www.kakniken.web.id " | Read more » about 4 years ago
cess "Really glad to see this go out :tada: :tada: and many thanks to all the folks you worked on this " | Read more » about 4 years ago
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Grigory "Hi, сolleagues. Does this camera need to remove the IR unit? " | Read more » over 4 years ago
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yaina "nice information " | Read more » over 4 years ago
hengrumay "Hi -- Went through the assembly instructions, briefly got it to work by securing the ribbons with the black bars (instructions not clear) but don't..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Looks like it worked well! " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
js7520047 "Perfect Article! Got to Understand The Topic Very Well, Glad You Shared it. you are doing a great job Thank You! You can check out the Best Hublot ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Hi Sairam, this could be the camera cable getting disconnected, can you try checking all the ribbon cables? " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Ok, I'm sorry this is taking so long. I found some command line instructions for Mac OS, the basic issue is that the partition is in a format (ext ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
liz "I did this! Here's what i changed: - the cord on the battery was so short i had to velcro it directly on top of the flap that the camera was velcro..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
molangmuir10 "I'm OS Mojave 10.14, this is what comes up on the SD card... " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
silentsairam "I could see only 1 partition on my Laptop. OS: Windows 7. Will test with Linux tomorrow and update. " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Oh hm..... maybe there's an issue with the drive format! Ugh... i think there should be 2 partitions that show up. But maybe your computer can't re..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 "Hi @silentsairam I did all of those steps but it didn't work! I think @warren is right - although it is strange that when I test ran it I could dow..." | Read more » about 5 years ago