Public Lab Research note

Garden PAP map

by cfastie | August 11, 2013 03:40 | 141 views | 2 comments | #8988 | 141 views | 2 comments | #8988 11 Aug 03:40

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Image above: The backyard garden which had never been photographed from above.


I have always wanted a good map of my vegetable garden, but the yard is too small to fly a kite. This was no obstacle for Ned Horning, who visited this week with a huge carp pole and a quadcopter. The quadcopter story does not have a completely happy ending, but we got some good photos from atop a 9.4 meter fishing pole. This was a Ron Thompson Gangster Pole, which is extremely lightweight and easy to use. It has eight sections which each add about 1.3 m, but the uppermost one is too thin to support a camera, so the total length we used was 9.4 m. You can see this type of pole catching fish in this mesmerizing video.


The seven sections of carbon fiber pole.


The Canon S95 on a small GorillaPod taped to the top of the uppermost section.


The video below was taken by accident when the camera was touched and somehow switched from running a CHDK intervalometer script to recording video.




From the top of the pole.



I measured out a five meter grid of golf balls to make it easier to align the photos into a map.



In Photoshop, I drew a grid (red lines) with extra lines for the paths (blue lines) and matched up the intersections with the golf balls in the photos. A denser grid would have been better so each photo included at least 3 balls. The balls were only in the lawn and paths, so some photos included only two balls, which is not enough. Even three balls per photo allows multiple alignment solutions, I think.


The completed full resolution map is 165 megapixels, and is embedded below from (Gigapan embeds do not display, see it at



Very nice results, Chris and Ned,

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Cool! I might have to get one of those Gangster Carp poles. Thanks for the video on how its used to fish, I've been wondering about that.

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