Get Started with #Kiteography

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 4.37.46 PM Welcome to the first episode of Geo#, a web series dedicated to sharing the work of National Geographic and inviting you to take part. In each episode, host Sean O’Connor features a project–it might involve a National Geographic explorer, photographer, or cartographer–and highlights what it’s all about for you, and provides a hashtag that you can use to take part in the conversation and activity, on social media. Join us in Geo#: share with us your experiences, reactions, and even suggest new ideas for episodes.

Do you know about #kiteography? If not, then it’s time that you do! Kiteography is a fun DIY activity that lets intrepid explorers like yourself send cameras up, up in the atmosphere. Explorers attach cameras to kites and capture cool aerial images of the landscapes below. Kiteography a great way to gather information about a place—information you can use to make maps. Watch this Geo# episode on kiteography to learn more!

So what does a kiteographer need to get started? National Geographic Young Explorers Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue are our featured kiteographers. Here’s the equipment they used in the video above. Marty and Ross’s Equipment List:

  1. Parafoil Kite (It’s easy to transport, has no breakable parts, and can fit in a backpack easily.)
  1. Camera mount: Brooxes Simplex (A simple mount like this one is great to start with.)
  1. GoPro Camera (Other cameras can work too!) Modify the settings to take a photo every two seconds.
  1. Gloves (The kite has extreme tension on the line—it is very important to protect your hands!)
  1.  200 lb kite line- Black Braided Line

Here are some more kiteographic resources that provide you with even more info and suggestions on how to get started:

  • Grassroots Mapping is a community dedicated to providing resources for DIY mappers. It’s also a great online space for learning and discussion about the power and excitement of community-driven mapping with kites, balloons, and other DIY techniques:
  • organizes info on all the equipment you need to get started with kiteography, including mounting kits they produce for attaching your camera to a kite:

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