As many of you know I have helped bring several projects to the Burning Man playa in years past. As the robot guy, I cannot let this year’s theme pass me by.
For years google maps has had high res satellite of the entire planet and street view for every city in the USA – except one. My project is to bring Street View to Black Rock City. It consists of a 360 camera mounted atop a go-cart “art car”. By driving ~120km of streets, the trash fence, etc and taking a picture every 10m I hope to give people at home the chance to virtually walk the streets of BRC.
I am currently working on the technical specs for a system to auto-shoot pictures at regular intervals. I am looking for community involvement to ensure the logistics go smoothly. For example, is a go cart actually the best option? Can we get something quieter, more efficient? How much fuel would be needed for the job? what’s the best method to transport the art car? what do we do with it after the event? and so on. If this interests you, please comment below.
This project is going to happen, and it stands a better chance of success if you help. Even sharing it to relevant groups would be a big help. Thank you!
120km is calculated by measuring satellite images of the roads, adding trash fence perimeter, and a bit more.
The BRC speed limit is 5mph (8kmh), so 120km can be scanned in ~15h. Call it 25h with interruptions. That’s 5h a day of taking turns driving the streets of BRC.
An electric motorized golf cart, new, is minimum $1500 CAD. The salesperson estimated it can drive 15km on a single charge (2 rounds of golf). That would require two sets of batteries recharging every single day, or 10 sets of batteries. ugh.
A RICOH THETA V camera can take 360 degree images for Google Street View. https://theta360.com/en/about/theta/v.html The specs say it can store “Approx. 4,800 photos”. 120km/10m = 12000 images. The simplest solution to take pictures without risking dust on the camera is to get three cameras and fill them to capacity with pictures.
For privacy reasons all faces, license plates, tattoos, and genitals would be blurred before upload to Street View.
There are two challenges with the THETA V:
* it cannot operate at or above 40c.
* it would require some system to auto-shoot every 10m. The simplest way would be to connect to an odometer on the vehicle.
A John Deere Gator Utility vehicle might be an option. Gas powered instead of electric, much greater range.
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