Taarifa’s Airforce

To infinity and beyond!

I attended and presented at the w3G conference around ‘Geo for when you really need to go’. With the upcoming sanitation hackathon I spoke about how Taarifa and community mapping are being used and can be used for sanitation issues. I’ve been thinking a lot about how aerial imagery could be used to augment community mapping in getting more spatial data. I believe that while mapping roads and facilities are great, we need a better method for monitoring open defecation areas. These areas can grow and shrink rapidly, as such monitoring and identification should be a priority.

I’ve written a problem statement about the subject; “Crowdsourcing open defecation through aerial imagery”. In this I think aerial imagery could be the solution to this problem. The imagery needs to be high resolution with the device collecting cheap, easy to deploy and replace. Ie. a parrot drone.

I’ve discounted weather ballons because of them needing a human who knows how they work, then how best to collect useful data with them. With a drone you should turn it on, press a button or two and it then flies off to collect your data. With the sensors on board it should then reverse geolocate the image, as you’ll know the latitude, longitude, altitude, focal length of the camera and resolution.

To demo this I decided to break Vicchi’s (aka Gary Gale’s) law of conference failures. I flew the drone over the audience at W3G. It didn’t kill or maim, crash or fly into anyones head. Which was better than the last time. As you can see by the videos and pictures, not everyone was convinced it would work!

Picutre here: http://chobhamonian.smugmug.com/Other/w3g/26151760_XTH67G#!i=2177148366&k=NHQRFrL&lb=1&s=X2

Video here: http://telly.com/IJ8ET

Written and submitted from British Airways Heathrow Terminal 5 (51.47258,-0.48967)


Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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