MODULE I: Mapping and Environmental Justice
Overview: The overall goal for all Community Science in the ECV is to build power in youth to advocate for improved Environmental Health. This lesson gives youth the data gathering and some advocacy skills to collect georeferenced images that can help show the environmental changes happening in the ECV.
Background: Aerial Mapping has been around since the 1850’s because of French photographer and balloonist, Gaspar Tournachon. In 1889, Arthur Batut was the first to successfully attach a timer to the camera and then to the kite. In 1903, cameras with timers were attached to pigeons and it took pictures every 30 seconds. Aerial Photography from airplanes was introduced in 1909 by Wilbur Wright, he was marketing planes and he took a passenger in the air and took motion pictures. This is one of the reasons they had aerial photography during World War I and no longer needed to sketch or draw. After World War I, aerial photography was being used for non-military purposes as well and agencies and businesses were using it.
Aerial mapping continued to progress and now we have balloon and drone mapping which have been very successful. Drone mapping has become a very popular activity but it has been around for a long time. It started with the military using drones to collect data for research purposes. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) was founded and it helped with the recreational usage of drones but also created regulations for flying drones. Commercial drones were still illegal during the mid 2000s but federal regulators have worked a balance where they can be flown for commercial possibilities. Companies need to have a Certificate of Authorization (COA) if they wish to use drones but it is easier to acquire the COA and the process is much simpler. Aerial mapping is useful when you need high resolution or time sensitive imagery from a specific location. It is also used by companies such as Google or Bing Maps for satellite imagery.