Projects like OpenStreetMap have proved that it is possible to replicate professional ground survey using low cost consumer grade GPS to create vector data sets that have the potential to complete with commercial datasets. Today I came across a website which describes a technology that could do the same for aerial imagery. Pict’Earth describe combining low cost devices which many of us already have to develop a very low cost real time aerial surveillance platform.
Using a Nokia N95, Imagery and positional information is captured and sent to the ground live during flight on a low cost model aircraft and displayed in Google Earth in near real-time. This imagery can be shared via the web with any internet connected google earth client, anywhere in the world.
Alternatively the same information can be post-processed to produce geo-referenced photo mosaics.
This is just amazing !! Ok so its not orthophotography, but then for most applications that’s not needed, key other than some good software, is the use of the N95, a 5 megapixel camera, a commuincation device and a GPS is a small cheap package – and you thought it was a phone !
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.