In my last post, I mentioned that I attended the VII International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific that was held at Gotland University in Visby, Sweden. There I met many of the world’s leading archaeologists who study Rapa Nui (Easter Island). I also had the pleasure of meeting Elaine Dvorak. Elaine and her husband Don are kite aerial photography (KAP) experts who have flown their camera-carrying kites on Rapa Nui.
This has to be one of the most ingenious and affordable methods of remote sensing that I have ever come across. I simply had to do a posting about it. For about $400 and a digital camera you too can do aerial photography. Many of you are laughing right about now, but imagine you are on Rapa Nui, the most remote, inhabited island on the planet. You have little to no budget, so it is out of the question to have your site flown by an aerial photogrammetrist outfit like Sanborn, etc. Or imagine that you are a government surveyor in India or Ethiopia with similar economic challenges, but are desperate to obtain this crucial data for analysis, planning, GIS, construction, etc.
KAP may be the ideal solution. Just check out these results Elaine and Don gained on Ahu Tepeu on Rapa Nui (the same site I spent three days surveying in February). One simply has to georeference the photos with Raster Design and voilà!
For those of you who are interested on pursuing this further, here are just a few sites:
Thank you, Elaine, for your time and for sharing this innovative solution with me!