7 Photo Mapping Innovations from the Mapillary Community

As Einstein has noted, "Creativity is contagious. Pass it on." Here are 7 innovative thoughts that members of the Mapillary community have put into practice during 2016.

As Einstein has noted, "Creativity is contagious. Pass it on." Here are 7 innovative ideas that members of the Mapillary community have put into practice during 2016.

One of the best things about being a community is the chance to easily get inspired and learn from each other's creativity. The Mapillary community has come up with many awesome innovations when it comes to photo mapping, and we're happy to share some that have surfaced in 2016. Whether it's getting better images or setting up your cameras that you're aiming for, there is a solution for everything!

1. The Black Felt Trick

When you capture from a car on a bright sunny day, you will probably see the photos contain a version of your dashboard as it is reflected on the windscreen. One clever way to reduce it is to cover the dashboard with dark matt cloth. As talllguy has suggested, black felt is perfect for that, and doesn't cost much.

Black felt trick
Photo by talllguy

2. DIY Polarizer Filter

Another option for fighting glare is a polarizer filter. You can buy one, but you can also do a little arts and crafts session and make one yourself - descilla has demonstrated this very neatly. You just need a pair of disposable 3D glasses from a cinema session. Remove one of the lenses and tape it in front of your camera eye. The difference can be immense!

DIY polarizer filter Photos by descilla

3. The 360 Hiker

As some claim, everything is better in 360, but even the strongest of us get tired of going around holding up a camera above your head. So tryl made the camera hold itself - on his back. As he explains, you just need a (slightly modified) tripod (or a selfie stick) and your favourite backpack. A cheap, easy and lightweight solution (since you have to spend a bit on the camera). You might want to add just a little weight to the backpack to help it keep straight.

360 backpack Photos by tryl

4. The 360 Driver

While the backpack is perfect for walking and biking, it obviously doesn't work so well in a car (unless you have a convertible). But why not put it on the car's "back" like ambassador zimmy? You need a traffic cone, in which you'll place a selfie stick with the camera, and a magnetic surf-/snowboard rack to hold it still on the roof of the car. Voilà!

360 roof mount Photo by zimmy

5. The Multi-Camera Rig

"Collecting 360° imagery for @mapillary & @openstreetmap using 🚗 + 4x @Sony cams 📷 is easier than you think!" That tweet sort of says it all - bhousel from Mapbox has developed and tested this setup over time, and described the components in detail in this blog post.

The multi-camera rig
Photo by bhousel

6. The Human Rig

If you have a handful of cameras lying around but no material or willingness to build a rig for them, there's always the option to act as the rig yourself. You'll be sure to steal the spotlight and have places such as the Faroe Islands photo mapped in no time, like peterneubauer did.

The human rig Photo by peterneubauer

7. Bringing Up the Next Generation of Photo Mappers

To ensure a continuous feed of fresh photos, it's good to have kids get used to bringing Mapillary everywhere. A number of smart Mapillary parents have already tried this out, such as smsm1, kaflurbaleen and sandrauddback.

Baby photo mapping Photos by smsm1 and sandrauddback

Have you tried anything similar or do you have other great innovations? Share your thoughts here in comments or on our forum!

/Katrin and the Mapillary team

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