This is a guest post from our community member Cesare who will share his story on how he mapped his home town in Italy.
How many of you know about Mapillary? How many of you have already used it? How many of you have contributed with street level photos? If your answers are “no”, no” and “no” then I recommend you to check out the website and then come back and continue reading. In this post I will share my learnings on how to build street level photos for your town, neighborhood or just an area that interests you.
I found out about Mapillary a while ago and when I saw that Germany was much better mapped than Italy I decided I wanted to give it a try and create my own street views of Carignano in Italy.
Here is what I’ve used:
- A very old bike.
- A tablet, but a phone works just as good.
- Support to fix the tablet to the bike (to prevent it from falling). In total I spent 30 Euros.
- Some hours to run by bike on the streets (you can obtain the same result by walking or driving if you want).
This is how I attached my tablet to the bike. I know that Mapillary also provide bike mounts for smartphones. If you want one you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I spent a few hours biking in my home town and I can say with a bit of pride, that my town is now one of the few Italian cities that are completely mapped on Mapillary. Here is the result. Even though I mapped the town other people can continue to improve by adding more photos. All of them will be combined into one view.
If you want to do the same in your own town or another area that you find interesting these are my suggestions:
- Try to avoid to take pictures people, license plates. Even though Mapillary has automatic blurring for faces and license plates it is good to avoid. Could also be good to do a quick check of the photos and if needed make manual blurring.
- Try to take photos or sequences at times when there are not that many people on the streets. It is nicer to see a street than someone else’s back.
- When taking photos first cover the street in both direction of travel. When that is done you can take photos sideways. Mapillary has made a small guide that I found helpful. Here is an example of the result.
My experience is replicable to relative small area, but Mapillary is well suited for more people working together in a mapping event. For example, there was one recently held at the archeological site of Pompeii and now there are images of a significant part of the archeological area.
I also think my experience could be applied to students, perhaps during their school trips when visiting interesting places. It will give them a chance to in a personal way show their families where they have been and take them on a walk in the same area.
Go out and try it! Basically it takes very little.