Public Lab Research note

Infragrams over NYC: Randall's Island Urban Farm

by liz | July 02, 2013 19:28 02 Jul 19:28 | #8609 | #8609

Pole aerial mapping over Randall's Island Urban Farm


My attempt and results

Our first ever attempt at using the telescoping fishing pole was fairly successful with very little effort. We began by meeting at Nick's farm on Randall's Island, bringing Jason, Angelica, and the brand new fishing rod we had ordered from All Fishing Buy. We used all but the top two sections of the rod and taped the camera in soda bottle rig to the very end. The pole was light and easy to handle. It was a new technique and we were figuring out how to capture the horizontal extent we needed with such a close-to-ground vantage point. We captured many photos of about half of the farm, but generally they were blurry, see below:


Questions and next steps

More specifically, we experienced over-exposure in the brightest areas of full sun and thick vegetation. In the image below, look in the upper left bed with thick cover-crop, and see that it is not rendering properly in NDVI below:



We also experienced some trouble with shadows, as shown here in this near-ground shot above the rice paddies. My shadow of arm holding the camera out over the water is an artifact in the NDVI:




Other photos of the beautiful urban island farm

View of garden under the amtrak bridge. Note Nick holding the collapsed pole -- very easy to maneuver and travel with:


Other vantage of the garden with Triborough Bridge in the background:



I believe that in the over the water shot, that's not a shadow at all -- it's a reflection, as is a lot of the light in that picture. I think that we have to be careful -- there are issues with shadows in NDVI, and this is a separate but also interesting problem.

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