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]( 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.]( ### 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]( [9ft. Dazzle Delta]( 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]( is only $30 and a great complement to the Dazzle Delta, providing easier flying in high winds. [Levitation Delta]( - ($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]( - ($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]( - ($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]( - ($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]( ### 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]( have [had good luck with plastic and bamboo kites.]( Mathew also made a series of [Tyvek and Bamboo Fled kites]( 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 []( and the [Kitebuilder]( forums are great online resources. The book [One-hour Kites by Jim Rowlands]( provides excellent plans and construction details. [Dan Kurahashi's Japanese Kites, Concepts and Construction]( 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]( may require setting-up a free, public account....

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
silentsairam "Hi @warren When I recently tried connecting to Camera Module with RPi, I shows the below message as in image. Is the fault in Camera module or sho..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
silentsairam "Hi @warren @molangmuir10 Connect to the Network as the same with Rpi. Click on Download Images and Videos from SD card. I used San Disk 16GB A1 ..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren "Hi, sorry I missed this one too, but glad it worked! I've usually seen it take about five minutes so I was surprised to hear 30m. But also, we copi..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren "Hi! Ok not sure what's happening but it's some issue with the camera software we chose. I'll try to take a look later today but the easiest thing a..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 "Hey @warren! I did a test using the r-pi to take photos in my room, downloaded the images and it worked fine. I then did a mapping with a school la..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
severin "The model I received had no timelapse mode, so I bought one that does have this feature ( " | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren "OK, I think there's been some confusion over camera models on our end. I'll check on this and we can figure out what to do next. I'll reach out ove..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
pablo "@hagitkeysar and me are talking about the very same camera. It didn't look like a bug. The camera worked as described in its manual [which I can't..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren "I think @hagitkeysar was asking about this over the weekend as well. Is there possibly some bug with recent versions of this Drograce WP200 camera? " | Read more » about 5 years ago
liz "Hi @Pablo sorry for any trouble! I do not have the camera physically in front of me, but there is a "timelapse" mode in the settings, i'm guessing ..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
pablo "We have the same problem: we bought a camera from Publiclab store (Drograce WP200) but we are not able to set it to continuous mode. Triggering the..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 "This looks great! I will try this at my next mapping on Wednesday - I used the plastic bottle rig in the mapping handbook so would be good to exper..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren " Look who it is!!!! hey there @gonzoearth good to see you!!!! :+1: :tada: :globe_with_meridians: " | Read more » about 5 years ago
gonzoearth "With vertical imagery being a significant barrier to entry at times, it would be wonderful to see the Atlas serve to as a place for field notes aro..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
gonzoearth "Let's goooooo! Publish early, publish often. " | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren " @molangmuir10 @silentsairam @kayrufty take a look at this post -- this is not super elegant but just looking for fast and very lightweight ways to..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren " Hi, just checking in on this awesome old post! Noting that we now have an automated SD card image generator with WiFi video streaming at the #pi-b..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
jbreen "This is great!!!!! " | Read more » about 5 years ago
kaustubh_nair " Awesome! Glad to see we're connecting with more people across the world and making a bigger impact :smiley: " | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 "Hi Bronwen - I posted you the below question because it wasn't working but then after about half an hour the pi wifi connected!! So all good :) Des..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 " Hi Bronwen, great! I will try this afternoon and let you know! " | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 " I will look into this! Thanks " | Read more » about 5 years ago
molangmuir10 " Thanks Chris that's really helpful! " | Read more » about 5 years ago
gauravano " Awesome!! Progress at Mapknitter is really great and we'll surely improve a lot till the end of summer :smiley: " | Read more » about 5 years ago