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Best of Make: Volume 2 by The Editors of Make:

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HELIUM BALLOON IMAGING “SATELLITE”

By Jim Newell

Photograph by Sam Murphy

INFLATION WATCH

Snap aerial photos from 300' up by suspending a hacked drugstore camera from 3 tethered helium balloons.

The first time I saw a satellite photo of my house on Google Earth, I expressed shock at the “Big Brother” implications of an all-seeing, commercial eye-in-the-sky. But meanwhile, I was also secretly disappointed with the picture quality and clarity because (Orwellian angst aside) I needed better overhead images for my own use — to help me lay out a new driveway and complete a bird’s-eye-view CAD drawing of our lot.

So I decided to design and fabricate ...

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