Tag Archives: KAP

Fuzzy Tail for Kites | publiclaboratory.org

I’ve been adding knowledge to the Public Lab website.  Go see!

“Kites use tails to help stabilize them in the air, to keep them from swaying too much from side to side. The increased drag as the wind passes over the tail holds the kite in place. Big kites need big tails, and one popular and easy tail to make is a fuzzy tail. The flaps create more drag than a smooth tail so you can use a shorter tail and get tangled less. They are fairly easy to make and can be made out of a number of materials.” Here’s one way to make them:  Fuzzy Tail for Kites | publiclaboratory.org.

Research Logo

I made this graphic over a year ago to help brand my research.  The idea is that it will be placed on research equipment, like the camera housing for my kite aerial photography rig, and on t-shirts to make field work look more official.  It’s remarkably hard to get people to take research on a beach seriously, not that they have to, but it might be nice since it really is important and might some day save their homes if they live in coastal areas.  I haven’t actually used the logo yet on anything, but maybe that’s something I can fix this summer.

I think it’s pretty obvious that it was inspired by the National Parks’ iconography and it has a lot in common with the Robert Tobias Photography Logo I made for my dad.

You’re probably wondering what the four squares mean or why they have the images that they have.  Well, I study plants (seedling square) that live on beaches (dune square) using kite aerial photography (kite and camera squares).  There ya go!

DIY KAP Trash Can Rig in Action | publiclaboratory.org

I’ve been doing some work over at the Public Laboratory site again.  This is a quick video of one of my aerial photography rigs in action.

The YouTube video:


The original post to Public Lab:  Trash Can Rig in Action | publiclaboratory.org.

Ground Control Point Targets | publiclaboratory.org

Sewing Targets

For people who take low-altitude aerial images, you may have discovered that if you want to georeference your photos, you know you need some kind of control points, but the commercially available targets are not only cheap plastic, but they are just too big!  The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make your own.  Last year, I wrote up some directions for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science.  Check it out.  Science + Sewing = Awesome!

Mapping Curriculum: Ground Control Point Targets | publiclaboratory.org.

KAP at Leo Carrillo State Park


Over Thanksgiving, my family took a trip to Leo Carrillo State Park for an afternoon of photography, including airphotos with the kite aerial photography rig.  The system we used here was a Skyhook 30 parafoil kite with a 15″ drogue tail hoisting a Cannon G9 camera.  It took photos over the beach, tidepools, and near-shore seagrass beds.  The tide was very low that day (something like a -1), so the water was out past the big rock, exposing quite a bit of the seagrass, but also the water was clear and the glare was cooperating, so the resulting photos show what’s under the water as well.