Bird's eye photovoice

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles as a means of data collection for participatory action research

Britta Ricker

Assistant Professor

Urban Studies

 

Outline

  • GIScience, the Geoweb and Spatial Media, Participatory Action Research 
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as a Tool for Data Collection 
  • Steps and Methods for utilizing UAVs for Participatory Mapping and Photovoice
  • Social Implications 
  • Conclusions and future work

Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Systems

Knowledge Politics

Political Power

"...knowledge politics to be shaped by deeply institutionalized tendencies in planning and policy making to grant greater weight to knowledge expressed as quantitative data or represented in cartographic forms." 

 

Data Driven Decision Making

(Elwood & Leszczynski, 2012: 545)

"From expert to everyday"

Geoweb

  • interconnected tools and spatial data available on the web spanning multiple geographic regions

  • Revolutionized spatial data (Sui, 2008)

  • but not democratizing it (Haklay, 2013)

  • Provides access to satellite and aerial imagery! (Goodchild, 2007; Harvey, 2014; Kingsbury & Jones, 2009)

  • Opportunity to contribute Volunteered Geographic Information (Goodchild, 2007)

Spatial Media

Elwood & Leszczynski (2012) New spatial media, new knowledge politics. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (38): 544-559.

"Mediums or channels that extend our ability to interact with and create geographic information online" p 544

Maps --> Media

Applied

Quantitative

Theory

Qualitative

"moment of translation

transforming experiential, testimonial and qualitative forms of knowledge into quantitative aggregated or abstracted forms" (Elwood & Leszczynski , 2012: 548)

Geoweb

Spatial Media

Maintain a keen awareness as to not reproduce inequalities. Active engagement in effort to use these technologies to combat inequalities (Elwood, 2015)

{

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means to illuminate social and environmental injustices

 

co-construction of knowledge

 

promotion of self and critical awareness that leads to individual, collective social change

Participatory Action Research

Tell me, I forget.

Show me, I remember.

Involve me, I understand. 

 

-Chinese Proverb (Paulos et al., 2009)

Photovoice

Purpose

Method by which participants identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique

 

  • Identify community assets and deficits
  • Use photography to draw attention to a social issue
  • Induce change by informing policy makers

 

Participatory Mapping

Public Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS)

Many Voices

Many forms

Medium influences who will participate

(Chambers 2006)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Negative connotation

Militarization

Surveillance

(Sandvik & Lohne, 2014)

 

Drones for good

  • Archaeology 
  • Forestry
  • Emergency response
  • Search and Rescue
  • Natural resource management
  • (Precision)Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Remote Sensing 
  • (Colomina & Molina, 2014; Everaerts, 2008, Forance et al., 2014; Upton et al., 2015; Zhang & Kovacs, 2012; Rokhmana, 2015).

Organized #DronesforGood

  • Digital Humanitarianism
  • UAViators 
  • DIYDrones
  • OpenDroneMap
  • DroneAdventures
  • Conservation Drones
  • Drone Code

Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University created this 3D model from aerial imagery captured by UAV.

Spatial Media: Aerial Photovoice Cinemtography

Aerial Photovoice

  • evokes emotion 
  • representations of place
  • What if we used it for something more important?

Aerial Photography

Harmful Algal Blooms

Twin Lakes Home Owners Assiciation, Federal Way

Lake Loreen

Lake Jean

Lake Loreen

Lake Loreen

Digital Maps! 
Use of UAV could offer control of temporal and spatial resolution of base maps.

 Putting a UAV in the hands of a community, could they monitor...

  • Community changes through the course of a day, season, year...
  • Acute changes - landslide event, urban encroachment
  • Gradual changes - land use change, urban growth
  • Ecosystem services
  •  Access to water resources, refugee camp movement
  • Habitat loss...
  • ?????

Steps

  1. Drone Selection Process
  2. Flight Practice and Planning
  3. Flying
  4. Data Processing 

Drone Selection

(Eisenbeiss, 2011: 34)

Classified by takeoff and landing methods

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus

  • 25 minute flight time
  • Return home when battery is low
  • Compass and GPS
  • 14 mega pixel camera and Gimble
  • ~$1200

Process

Flight Practice and Planning

Flying

Auto Pilot

Free Flight

Image Processing

Photography and Cinematography

Mapping

Image Processing

MapKnitter, Google Maps, MapBox, GeoServer + OpenLayers, ESRI Online

Manual Processing

Structure from Motion (SfM) software

Generate an Othophoto

2012

2015

Title Text

  • Bullet One
  • Bullet Two
  • Bullet Three

77 photos to make this orthophoto in >one hour total

Social

Implications

Similar critiques of GIS

and mobile spatial media (Elwood, 2008; Thatcher, 2016)

Privacy (Curry, 1997) 

  • Geoweb transformation of the social contract around privacy – societal agreement (Elwood, 2015)

Access to technology (Obermeyer, 1995) 

Risk of Re-enforcing inequality 

 

 

Legality

  • Decline of the public sector - private sector leading
  • "Enthusiasts" can fly, not governments
  • International regulations vary dramatically

Medium influences who will participate

(Chambers, 2006) 

Comfort level when flying

Tacoma Professional

Tacoma Amateur 

Only scratching the surface

Conclusion & Future

Maps are political

INVITE PARTICIPATION

Work with communities

Opportunity to establish ethical standards for UAV usage

Hope

  • Illuminate social and environmental injustice
  • Relevant Temporal Resolution
  • Enhanced Spatial Resolution
  • Increased coverage
  • Complement existing research methods
  • Opportunity to establish good practice with community engagement 

Google Earth date unknown

UAV imagery March 2015

Participation sparks critical thinking during each step of the process

Challenge

to utilize these increasingly accessible technologies to edit your world, tell your truth,

share your experience in place. 

Thank You.

@bricker

Acknowledgements: Joseph P. DiGrazia, Ali Modarres, Sarah Elwood, Kris Seymer, Chris Davidson, Mark Pendras, Jim Thatcher

UAV Dartmouth

By Britta Ricker

UAV Dartmouth

This presentation was given on April 8, 2016 at Dartmouth College

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