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Dump the Satellite: Man Uses Kite to Take Aerial Pics for Google Maps

manihi atoll on google maps
We already know that kites outfitted with cameras can provide a DIY alternative to satellite imagery, as was evidenced in Grassroots Mapping's overhead shots of the oil-strangled Gulf Coast. Now, Frank Taylor, the author of the Google Earth Blog (not officially affiliated with the Menlo Park-based Net behemoth), has provided his favorite aerial imagery producer with some hi-res shots of his own, taken with the help of a kite.

Taylor is on a five-year sailing trip called the Tahina Expedition, and is now supplying Google Earth and Maps with aerial photos of some of his ports. Newly published pictures of the Manihi Atoll in French Polynesia show the very high-resolution areas that Taylor shot as they are surrounded by the low-res zones taken with Google's satellite cams. But Taylor also photographed an island previously undocumented by Google -- BBQ Island in the Carribbean Sea, off of Panama -- clearly showing the tops of palm trees in the midst of an undifferentiated expanse of blue sea.

Tags: BbqIsland, cameras, diy, FrankTaylor, google, GoogleEarth, GoogleEarthBlog, GoogleMaps, kite, ManihiAtoll, satellite, SatelliteImagery, TahinaExpedition, top, web