Near-Infrared Camera Conversion

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science(PLOTS) present this surprisingly simple yet  effective conversion of a cheap digital camera into a near-infrared camera. Now why would you want to convert your camera so it only takes pictures of something not visible to the human eye?

Taking photos with IR information can be used to generate NDVI (which stands Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and for NRG images. NDVI and NRG are methods taking the information in pictures and quantifying the amounts of infrared and other wavelengths of light reflected from vegetation. This can be used to evaluate health of vegetation by comparing ratios of blue and red light absorbed versus green and IR light reflected. It’s a snapshot of how much photosynthesis is happening. This is helpful in assessing vegetative health or stress. (Read more here:

If you’re interested in learning more about Near-IR or Grassroots Mapping, PLOTS website is a wonderful resource..

Community Mapping Brings a Revolution to Geographic Information Science

A recent National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecture series featured Michael Goodchild, a world-renowned geographer and director of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Center for Spatial Studies. On November 17, Prof. Goodchild presented his evolving views on the development and distribution of geographic information, and how these are being significantly influenced not only by new technologies, but, in particular, by the volunteer efforts of interested non-professionals connected in with the new technologies.

Below is my take on Prof. Goodchild’s talk.

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