Welcome to the Time Trust Trial contest, Round 4 (T3-4)! This round is an aerial imaging task. Here is your assignment:
Program your UAV to take photos from an altitude of ~400 feet that you then stitch together to make a single image showing an area of 500mx500m (a quarter square kilometer). Somewhere in that image, a Santa (or replica of a Santa, poster of a Santa, just you wearing a Santa hat, etc) must be seen. NO PHOTOSHOP (ie, the sample above would be disqualified)--you actually need to bring something Santa-ish to the field so your UAV can capture it in its shots (yes, I know it will be very small. Just circle the location in your image so we can enlarge and inspect--don't make us do "Where's Wally"!) This is to prove that the shots aren't actually taken from Google Earth ;-)
You can use any path strategy you want: "lawnmower", spiral, concentric circles, etc...
For stitching software, I use the free PTGui, but you're welcome to use whatever software you prefer.
And for your camera, may I suggest you hack up some cool way to trigger the shutter with our cool ServoSwitch?
KML tracks must be provided. Video is not required, but is suggested.
We've now switched to a six-week cycle, so the deadline is 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, January 17, 2010 now Monday, January 18th due to the Martin Luther King holiday in the US.
The overall winner will be the best quality image, as decided by the judges (based on a combination of resolution, stitch quality and overall coolness--a clever Santa will win you brownie points, and a pretty area is no bad thing [note: snow is lovely, but be warned that it can confuse stitching software]), but everyone who completes the challenge will win a prize.