Stevie Lewis, Matthew Lippencott, Don Blair of PublicLab and CSP Coordinator Forest went to the pastures behind Rodney and Mark Fishler’s homes and there Forest learned the ropes of how to do kite monitoring. There are many details that Forest never would have understood without being shown (making a more secure camera housing, specific Delta kite habits, what knots to use when fastening various parts, adjusting for wind direction by attaching tails to one side or another of the kite, adjusting camera angle, taking a horizon shot to set the distance focus of the camera, never jerk on the kite, if kite begins to dive let out string, emergency protocols, etc), and he is eternally grateful for PublicLab’s expert advice and guidance in how to go about it.
Unfortunately, it seems as though another flight in the near future is advisable, as the camera ran out of memory (after 1900 images) just as the kite was finally in position above the mine site. The final 5 pictures show a corner of the mine. With some technical adjustments and the right wind conditions a future flight should be able to capture better images
However, even this much information, when fitting these images to the maps on Google Earth and comparing to the images CSP took May 2014, shows us that the mine has grown significantly in size. Forest also learned the basics of MapKnitter which is used to stitch the images taken together into a cohesive map of the area. Here is a link to the map we made for a sample.
Adding another 1,500′ of line, Forest, Don Blair and Matthew Lippincott discuss flight protocols.
Up up and away! Forest mans the kite as Don and Matthew look on, checking kite angle and wind speed.
Stevie Lewis stands by with rubber gloves for hauling in the line as Don (and a rubber chicken) let out another few hundred feet.
Matthew Lippincott, master kite flier, makes it look so easy.