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Google Earth Incorporates Crowdsourced Balloon Images

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the inflatable-overlords dept.

Earth 20

garymortimer writes with this excerpt from sUAS News: "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science announced today that community-generated open source maps — captured from kites and balloons — have been added to Google Earth. The 45 plus maps are the first aerial maps produced by citizens to be featured on the site, and are highlighted on the Google Lat Long Blog. The Public Laboratory is an expansion of the Grassroots Mapping community. During an initial project mapping the BP oil spill, local residents used helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate high-resolution D.I.Y 'satellite' maps documenting the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — at a time when there was little public information available. Expanding the toolkit beyond aerial mapping, Public Laboratory has been growing into a diverse community, both online and offline, experimenting with new ways to produce information about our surroundings. The lab's DIY kits cost less than $100 to assemble."

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So, can I poison the data? (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734009)

It would be fun to forge false maps that show, for instance, an alien landing and submit them to Google along with a bunch of real images. Just sayin'...

Re:So, can I poison the data? (2, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734031)

Or replace Redmond with Mount Doom?

Balloon Images? (-1, Offtopic)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734079)

Sorry, but if I want to look at balloons I will either stare at the wife's chest for awhile, or I will go out and buy some balloons. I don't need no stinkin' "Google Earth" for that.

Re:Balloon Images? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39734329)

You managed to marry a FleshLight?

Re:Balloon Images? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734473)

He didn't say it was his wife.

Re:Balloon Images? (0)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39736367)

Nah, I managed to marry your mom. Now why aren't you in school, son?

Re:Balloon Images? (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741707)

I love you pretentious fuckwads who moderate comments because you have no life, no sense of humor, no anything outside of the scant traces of light that manage to seep through your parent's basement window.

Modded troll?
Modded flamebait?
Modded off-topic?

Get bent, dipshits. None of those even fits with what I typed out. It isn't trolling, it isn't flamebait and it sure isn't off-topic, since it talks about balloons AND google earth, both of which are in the article summary as well as the article.

So, yeah, go fuck yourselves... at least that will distract you long enough to stop ruining slashdot.

Citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39734109)

If these are the first maps produced by citizens (of the USA, I assume?), does that mean all of Google's own map-makers are foreigners on H1-B visas?

Re:Citizens? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734239)

No, the very clear implication was that they bought their other images from commercial entities instead of getting them individual citizens.

What about open street map? (4, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734191)

That's great that they are accepting images from "civilians", but it would be better if they were to collaborate with projects such as Open Street Map [] and really share data.

Re:What about open street map? (2)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734597)

Indeed. Google Maps is horribly outdated in some places I care about but I haven't found any OSM (Android) app that even comes close in usability to Google Maps.

Re:What about open street map? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39736591)

Some of the open maps I looked at are nearly 15 years out of date...

Re:What about open street map? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39737007)

GPS Essentials for Androids is considering a move to OSM. They sent me a notification a while back asking about using OSM rather than Google Maps, and would it be worth paying for this ability rather than using the Google Maps. IIRC, their primary motivation was having the ability to use the maps off-line.

For android: Osmand is the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39743689)

IMHO, Osmand is currently the best. It's still under heavy development, and doesn't have an interface as polished as google maps, but it also provides features that google maps doesn't have. The major feature is offline map display and routing, and you can save on your phone a whole country, or even continent.

Re:What about open street map? (1)

cabraverde (648652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743515)

it would be better if they were to collaborate with projects such as Open Street Map [] and really share data.

... like Microsoft have been, for example. Open Street Map contributors have been given permission to trace features from Bing's areal photographs since 2010. No such goodwill from Google.

OpenAerialMap and the official announcement (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747401)

Actually, such imagery should go to, not OpenStreetMap (which is for vector data).

Also, this story has not mentioned yet (afaict) the official announcement: []

Global Warming-why do the facts always contradict? (-1, Offtopic)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734557)

"common theories of stellar evolution predict that the sun was only 70 percent of its current brightness when it first lit its fusion engine 4.5 billion years ago. The sun has been steadily growing brighter since then and will continue so into the future, eventually evaporating away Earth's oceans."

So the conclusion of scientists is that the earth is continually getting warmer. Okay, go that...

"In some simulations, methane and carbon dioxide combine to make a photochemical smog that would have chilled Earth even further."

Wait, I thought CO2 was that all-warming all covering gas. You know, the one that is less of a green house gas than water. But is hyped as the big difference. []

Granted, I would like to see what affect a few super volcanoes might have in blanketing an ice-covered earth with ash. I'd wager that would also resolve the issue more simply.

Must also add this is the first time I've heard Immanuel Velikovsky's in a print article in years.

That said, I tend toward leaning toward a catalysmic world model. I think the fact that we see such a record of impacts on the moon, and other planetoids while at the same time not seeing many in this day and age point to a more dynamic past. Combined with the fact that there is a bunch of debris instead of a planet between Mars & Jupiter. (0)

dmt0 (1295725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734833)

Why would people contribute to a commercial product made by a for-profit corporation instead of a community effort like

hydrogen not helium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39738561)

Why use helium which we are quickly running out of instead of something far more abundant like hydrogen? I know people are still nervous about the Hindenburg, but this thing isn't carrying passengers. It is just a small weather balloon.

Kit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739447)

Where can I get one of these kits? The article doesn't specify.

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