Meet community member Kathleen

We got the opportunity to talk to our amazing community member Kathleen about her Mapillary experience.


What are you doing when not taking photos?

I program computers (to do stuff with photos). My background is in computer vision, graphics, games, and crowdsourcing. I also like adventuring outside. I have two cats named MPEG and JPEG.

How long have you been using Mapillary and why are you taking photos?

I started in Summer 2014. I was moving from Washington to California and had to make the drive several times. I mapped as much of the route (I-5) as I could, with multiple different phones. This was before I had a mount, so I was just holding the phone up above the dashboard.

I'm taking photos to map the world! There's a lot to do, so any little bit helps.

How are you capturing?

I use an iPhone, either mounted in my car with a mount that Mapillary gave me (and plugged into the car's USB port so it doesn't run out of battery) or hand-held while hiking. I map when I drive, and I've also gone on hiking expeditions specifically to take photos. I wish I had some kind of hiking staff or backpack mount.

How did you get hooked on Mapillary?

Several years ago, I built a crowdsourced photography game called PhotoCity, where players' photos were used to make 3D models. Last year, someone told me about Mapillary, which is the closest thing to exist since then, including behind-the-scenes 3D reconstructions with their OpenSfM pipeline! Mapillary makes it so much easier to take a ton of photos and contribute in a way that adds up.

What is your favorite part of Mapillary?

The fact that it's an open-source alternative to Google Street View. Compelling street view in exotic places around the world should be a crowd thing, a human thing, not a Google-only thing.

What is your best Mapillary tip for newcomers?

Here are two different approaches:

  • Go somewhere meaningful to you so you can capture and share it!
  • Just start taking pictures! Any data is good data, and no one has taken photos at that exact time and location before!

A warm thank you to Kathleen for sharing her Mapillary story. We're amazed by our community members and want to hear your story too. Reach out to us at

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