We're hitting the beaches and hitching boat rides to make aerial images of the gulf oil spill's effects using cameras attached to balloons and kites.
We are a group of citizens and activist mappers who are documenting the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast with a set of novel DIY tools -- we send inexpensive cameras up in helium balloons and kites, and take aerial photos from up to 1500 ft. The data we're gathering will be vital in both the environmental assessment and response, as well as in the years of litigation following the spill. All the imagery we capture is released into the public domain and is free to use or redistribute. See our Flickr photo pool for more of the incredible imagery volunteers are bringing in.
We need support to keep a supply of helium, and to pay for gas, kites, cameras, and protective gear for our volunteers. We've already captured a great deal of amazing imagery which is available online:
http://grassrootsmapping.org/ http://grassrootsmapping.org/gulf-oil-spill Louisiana Bucket Brigade, our collaborators and the local HQ, are sending volunteers out to affected coastal sites almost daily, and conducting training sessions for new volunteers in New Orleans and elsewhere along the gulf coast. Our imagery is being published across the web - not just photographs, but stitched maps like these:
http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/may-9-chandeleur-balloon/ http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/chandeleur-may8-plane/ As you can see in the above picture (our map overlaid on Google data), our photography is of higher resolution and greater coverage than much of what the press has, and we're now coordinating a nationwide effort to stitch the imagery into map overlays, which are viewable in Google Earth and OpenLayers. Our images are up to 10,000x higher resolution that the daily satellite images posted by NASA!
Help us get out there and record some evidence!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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