This is one of a series of guides for collaborative environmental research and advocacy projects. Pole Mapping is an easy way to get a view of your garden from above. This guide will cover how to make or purchase your own pole and affix a camera to it.
Planning this event
Ahead of time:
- Take a look at the types of poles available, check out the pictures on the wiki page! http://publiclab.org/wiki/pole-mapping
- Consider the pros and cons of making, borrowing, or buying a pole.
- If you want to make a pole, assess what you have locally available at hand to work with. Perhaps bamboo is readily available in your area, or perhaps a hardware store with long PVC is more your speed.
- If purchasing a pole, I recommend a lightweight carbon fiber one like this, but be careful, unsupervised kids can easily break these delicate but high-tech rods (and yes they are a little pricey): http://www.allfishingbuy.com/Fishing-Pole-14-18.htm
- Make a decision on what kind of pole sourcing endeavor you will embark on
Materials to have on hand:
- A camera
- an SD card that fits in the camera
- charged battery(s) for the camera
- rubber bands (15x)
- wide tape (usually packing tape, masking tape or painters tape)
- Note: depending on your decisions above, pole materials will vary widely
Activity 1: If you are going to buy a pole
Activity 2: If you are going to make a pole
Activity 3: Affixing a camera to the pole
- set your camera to take pictures automatically (insert link)
- put your camera into a soda bottle rig (to protect it from hitting against the pole, or the ground while the pole is lying down)
- hang it on the end of the pole,
- Note: if using a fishing pole, you may want to not use the very thin end sections that would bend over or snap under the weight. Carbon fiber sections with at least a 1/4" diameter should be strong enough.
Activity 4: Getting good images
- Lay the pole horizontally on the ground
- note how long it is as compared to the landscape that you are going to photograph because there's a rule of thumb: as far up as the camera is above the ground is the same horizontal extent on the ground that any given picture can capture.
[insert GM diagram]
- Attach the soda bottle housing -- with camera inside -- to the end of the pole.
- Make sure the camera is on and taking pictures
- Get your stance right: stand at the base of the pole and brace the base of the pole into the inside of your right foot (or whichever foot you tend to lead with)
[get picture for this]
- Lean over and grasp the pole with your hands and begin lifting the pole up, keeping the base braced into your foot. Keep your stance strong.
- Bring the pole to as near vertical as possible to minimize the unwieldy weight (it's like holding a ladder -- straight up is easier and "seems lighter")
[insert picture of Frank in Newark]