Hey everyone. So I’ve published our second episode in our series, Behind the Maps - The Technology of Virtual Earth, on Virtual Earth out on Channel 9. In this episode, Flying the UltraCam we go to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of Keystone Aerial Surveys, one of the companies that flies the UltraCam that captures the imagery you see in Virtual Earth today.

Throughout we’ll interview a number of the people who work with this camera including Ken Potter, Executive Vice President and Neil DiFranco, Project Manager at Keystone. Neil, who himself is a Survey Pilot, will show us how they do flight planning with an aerial camera which is very different than what a regular pilot does and will demo the software they use to do it. Later Neil will take us on a flight and we’ll meet Ben Miller, one of their operators who will talk about how the UltraCam and the flight management software work together. He’ll show us all the steps during the flight and show us the UltraCam in action! After our flight we’ll meet David Day, Director of IT for Keystone, who will walk us through what happens to the imagery when it gets back on the ground and how they process it before it is sent to Boulder for the next step in its journey and the subject of our next episode.

This was a really fun video to make. Generally I like to keep these videos as simple as possible and if I can do the entire thing in one take. This one was different. There is a TON of content we cover and I probably should have made this into three separate videos. But seeing as this is the internet age and everyone wants everything right now I decided to make it into one long video. It runs nearly an hour but I promise there is a ton of great information on the UltraCam and we go into deep detail on each step in how it is used to capture the high resolution aerial imagery. What you also may not realize is there is a bunch of technology that goes into the flight planning, the operation of the camera and the flight software in the air and the post-processing of the imagery. I think you’ll find this episode fascinating and I do hope you all enjoy it.

Behind The Maps - Flying the UltraCam