In 2009 we were granted funding by Digital Pioneers for the development of software and hardware for automatic acquiring of aerial and streetlevel imagery. The symbiosis of delivering data with a permissive license model in combination with affordable hardware allows government, volunteers and private use of project results, and makes it self-sustaining.
The UAVs of choice were 2 quadcopters, while relatively easy to fly and hovering in urban area's, some properties we were sold into, but never got to work in practice, manual labour was needed. We shifted technologies to fixed-wing aircrafts, and got ourselves instant results and straight flightpaths.
Since we did not invest in expensive commercial quadcopter kits, a sum of money
was left. We decided to invest in two custom made aircrafts, but return the rest of
remainder. The construction of the electroglider with a wingspan of 3 meters
is actively blogged in Dutch, and the full
project will become available in a manual.
Still pursuing our own open source rectification process, we decided to push the streetlevel photography to our friends at openstreetview, and participate in the resurrection of openaerialmap.
We are always interested in cooperation in the project, financially, development or tech. You can find us at Stichting OpenGeo, and at Freenode on #osp.