Nov 30

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

OpenAerialMap Is Ready For Your Data

san diego fires aerial imagery

OpenAerialMap is a site for collecting, hosting, and mapping freely available aerial imagery. The project comes at a good time. There is increasing interest in DIY aerial imagery. DIY Drones is a community started by Chris Anderson for aerial imagery enthusiasts. Commercial venture Pict'Earth offer aerial imagery systems that includes their custom geopositioning software. And of course Make has had a project for aerial photography via a kite for a while.

You can view any uploaded imagery set on a map. You can apply an OpenStreetMap layer if desired. Current sets include: Burning Man 2007, Afghanistan, San Diego 2003, and the San Diego Widlfires of 2007 (pictured above).

Anyone can register as a datasource. You can then upload and geoposition your imagery using the site's tools. Though the project idea has been around for a while it was only recently put together by Chris Schmidt, an OpenLayers (Radar post) contributor and MetaCarta (Radar post) employee. Chris has made the site's code available.

Why is the project necessary? Though the imagery that Google, Microsoft, and others make freely available is excellent in its quality and coverage, you are only able to use it under their terms. This project makes imagery fully available and in one place. Also it can take 6 months or longer for an area to have its imagery updated on the larger sites - in the case of certain events you may want to capture a change now. I would love to see this project scale out like Open Street Map has, but that will take a while as the barrier to volunteer is much higher.

Chris Anderson will be talking about his work with DIY Drones at ETech in 2008. DIY Aerial Imagery is going to be a big theme at Where 2.0 2008.

tags: geo, web 2.0  | comments: 4   | Sphere It

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Comments: 4

  Mikel Maron [11.30.07 11:01 AM]

Another way to contribute is to locate existing sources of re-distributable aerial imagery, and upload to OpenAerialMap. Many governments do acquire imagery for their own use. And the growth of OpenStreetMap has begun to influence the licensing of government geodata -- both for street data and imagery.

For instance, this month the city of Merano, Italy released its entire GIS data set for use in OSM, OAM, and any other project, as long as attribution is given.

We're uploading the >1 GB of Merano imagery into OAM as I type this, and others are working on import of street data into OSM.

This and other examples of cooperation between governments and OpenGeoData projects are turning the tide. We should all feel motivated to approach our governments and ask them to participate in these efforts.

- Mikel

ps is the more permanent url

  Christopher Schmidt [11.30.07 11:04 AM]

For the record, the content should be live at -- The "HyperCube" URL is old and may go away at some point in the future.

  brady [11.30.07 11:27 AM]

thanks Chris. I updated the URL.

  Advice Network [11.30.07 05:08 PM]

If you zoom in enough on the "burning man" image, you can see naked people. (kidding)

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