There’s been a lot of buzz lately over the fact that Google is partnering with the Public Laboratory for Open Science and Technology (Plots) to publish the imagery generated by balloon mapping.
Whatever you may think of Google as a mega-corporation, this is actually pretty cool and worth being excited about. For one thing, there is now a clear workflow process from data capture–processing–publication, which can be realised via balloon mapping–mapknitter.org–Google. (Of course Google is not the only outlet but it is a big one).
The advantage for Google users is that balloon mapping is often more detailed, is public domain, and can have better colors. Here’s an image I captured last Saturday for example from the balloon at fairly low altitude on a cloudy/drizzly day:
On the Google blog:
We’ve imported many of the images from the Public Laboratory’s archives into Google Earth’s historical imagery database. To help you find them, download this KML file, open it in Google Earth (make sure you’re using the latest version), and fly to the image locations in space and time.