Grassroots Mapping is a series of participatory mapping projects involving communities in cartographic dispute. Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography, the grassroots mappers used helium balloons and kites to loft their own “community satellites” made with inexpensive digital cameras.

Finding commercial satellite imagery

February 7th, 2011 by Jeffrey Warren

A friend asked me to help find good imagery of the Oil Rocks near Baku in the Caspian Sea, which is not visible in Google Maps. In this 10 minute tutorial, I walk through the process of looking in Google Historical Imagery, then browsing and pricing out commercial satellite imagery from various vendors based on resolution, recency, and coverage.

The expense and difficulty of finding many sites in the world is exactly the inspiration for Grassroots Mapping, but in many cases this can be a useful (if somewhat esoteric) process to be familiar with. It’s also a great thing to check before attempting a balloon mapping flight — even if only to see what is available and how much cheaper producing your own imagery might be.

2 Responses to “Finding commercial satellite imagery”

  1. Cesar Harada Says:

    That’s a demo of how useful GM is. Nice.

  2. Open Source Mapping « City of Water Says:

    […] showed up on Google Earth only in name – he offered some tips on how to find other maps and posted them to the website. Another example: during the BP Gulf Oil Spill the group used grassroots mapping to map the extent […]

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