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Aerial photos with Passenger Pigeon
passenger-pigeon

Passenger Pigeon is a project/concept for collecting aerial imagery from passenger plane windows with handheld digital cameras. To make a map, just take photos out the window of your commercial flight. Then use the free and open source [MapKnitter.org](https://mapknitter.org) to align the images with a map as soon as you land. (_ Above, NRG composite from out the window of airplane over Amsterdam, by @warren_) ### Examples * Utah (shown below): http://publiclab.org/notes/eustatic/5-10-2012/hills-have-acne-passenger-pigeon-photos-drill-sites-out-west * Manhattan/Brooklyn: https://mapknitter.org/map/view/newtown-creek-docsearls ### Tips for photographers * point the camera as straight downwards as possible * hold the camera as stably as you can - brace it against the window * try not to sit behind the wing, where the engine exhaust blurs the air * take note of where the photos are, if you anticipate difficulty in placing them on a map later * check flight-tracking websites ahead of time to plan when you'll be able to take good photos (possibly during landing or takeoff, if you're allowed to use your camera) * Record with your gps (in your smart phone) the gpx track. YOu can use it later to geotag the images. GPS should be near the window, otherwise it will not work. ## Questions [questions:passenger-pigeon] ## Activities [activities:passenger-pigeon] ### Maps ### Advanced Some Public Lab folks have done multispectral imaging from a plane window -- see the [near-infrared camera page](/tool/near-infrared-camera) for details on how to collect/produce infrared imagery with less than $150 of equipment. **** ## Updates [notes:passenger-pigeon] ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
cfastie "Stretching the histograms of either the NIR or VIS (or both) channels used to make NDVI is a trick that can produce more meaningful NDVI. I don't k..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
kykytos "@cfastie What do you mean with 'stretching the histogram of the infrablue photo'? Because if it means to reduce blue levels (increase NDVI levels),..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
warren "Great shot! " | Read more » over 8 years ago
mathew "I love these, Chris. makes me want to process some of my passenger-pigeon shots. " | Read more » over 9 years ago
warren "Amazing! You should rectify the concentrator photo and contact them... i bet they don't have as up to date an image as you took! " | Read more » over 9 years ago
cfastie "That's a cool idea. I'm sure somewhere in the gradient from near to far the NDVI in these images is correct. " | Read more » over 9 years ago
nedhorning "You could try to use some of these for calibration using Landsat imagery to estimate NDVI. " | Read more » over 9 years ago
pablo "Great Jeff, I had missed this post. Any conclussions to extract from the photos about the landfill? Besides, wrong first link! " | Read more » over 9 years ago
cfastie "Those are nice sharp airplane window shots. I made NBG false color infrared from them and added them to the Infrafilters posts: http://publiclab.or..." | Read more » over 9 years ago
gonzoearth "these are great! " | Read more » over 9 years ago
warren "I started a map here: https://mapknitter.org/map/view/sinkhole-passenger-pigeon ~5 meter resolution, not great, but OK. Next time press the flight..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "Will try to get to them soonish. I was also thinking we could call out on the grassroots mapping list. More people should be aware that you can get..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
eustatic "oh, i misread--do you want to do them up? awesome! i put the lac des allemands in the mapmill dropbox There's only two pictures of the sinkhole ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
eustatic "yeah, first step is to just sort through the good ones and put them on flickr with the general locations, thanks jeff " | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "Hey Scott- - any interest in having these in webviewer or geotiff? I'd be happy to take a crack at MapKnitting them. " | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "MapKnitter map (started with just one image, feel free to add): https://mapknitter.org/map/view/starvation-lake " | Read more » over 10 years ago
Shannon "I bet the NPS there would appreciate the images- esp. showing that the drill sites are pretty much all above the reservoir. Sick. " | Read more » over 10 years ago
warren "Sweet. Amazing. I wonder if you could browse Google Maps and find a lat/lon for some of these... i'd love to help stitch them in MapKnitter. The b..." | Read more » over 10 years ago
Shannon "Definitely. Do you know people that fly into BR ever? When I was flying from the Midwest back, we also came in over the Mississippi (who knows why,..." | Read more » over 10 years ago