Passenger Pigeon is a project/concept for collecting aerial imagery from passenger plane windows ...
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Passenger Pigeon is a project/concept for collecting aerial imagery from passenger plane windows with handheld digital cameras. To make a map, just take photos out the window of your commercial flight. Then use the free and open source MapKnitter.org to align the images with a map as soon as you land.
Above, NRG composite from out the window of airplane over Amsterdam, by @warren)
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Some Public Lab folks have done multispectral imaging from a plane window -- see the near-infrared camera page for details on how to collect/produce infrared imagery with less than $150 of equipment.