Meet Mapillary Ambassador: Elliott

Meet Elliott, Mapillary Ambassador from Baltimore, USA. Elliott is a geographic informations systems consultant and is passionate about maps, open data, and photography. He thinks Mapillary is at the intersection of all three of those passions. He enjoys adding photos to Mapillary in support of efforts to improve navigational directions and local points of interest information. Elliott is a regular contributor to OpenStreetMap, a Maryland Open Data Council appointee and a military veteran. He is also active on Twitter @talllguy.

Elliott Plack

We asked Elliott some questions to uncover his Mapillary story.

Why are you using Mapillary?

I enjoy contributing to Mapillary because every photo provides value for the community, whether it be for improving driving directions, finding local interests, or mapping uncharted trails. Mapillary photos tell a story unseen by aerial photography and geographic data typically used in the production of maps, and creation of geographic data. Street level photos are instrumental in the exploration of the horizontal plane, and provide a point of view we’re all familiar with — looking forward. By photographing and cataloging what we see, we can enjoy the view once, and then go back to gather data.

Tell us about your favourite sequence

My favorite sequence is one where I rode by bicycle around my neighborhood on every street to get Mapillary imagery everywhere. Although the bumpy roads led to a lot of motion blur, it was a fun experience and really got me excited about lighting up my city.

How did you get hooked on Mapillary/what is your favorite part?

After realizing the potentials for OpenStreetMap mapping, I was hooked early on. I saw the founders give a short talk at a State of the Map US and realized that it was a platform worth contributing to. My favorite part is reading about the new innovations on the analysis side, and viewing the beautiful sequences.

What would you like to tell others about Mapillary?

Mapillary provides a wonderful way to share on-the-ground experiences that have a spatial (or “where”) component. I would also say that it stands to improve driving and riding directions on a massive scale and has unlimited utility.

What is your best Mapillary tip for newcomers?

If you’re taking pictures through a windshield, buy a piece of black felt at a craft store and put it on your dashboard to prevent reflections. Clean your windshield before each sequence. Then, on your regular drives, take the backroads and get Mapillarying!

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