© Be My Satellite: Design Interventions for Geospatial Literacy

The exhibition space is designed to carry out the both experiential and educational quality which the project focused on through out. The wall functions as a place where you gain knowledge regards to satellite image production, while the above projection provides a live camera feed from the balloon camera, in order to provide instant access of the aerial perspective of the visitors. The pressurized gas lines, found from the aerospace junkyard is used as part of info-graph, in order to set the tone of the exhibition site. Below are the description, providing the layout of the exhibition space:

E2: BMS Completed Missions
The slideshow contains documentation of the participants attempts to make their distinctive mark for BeMySatellite.

P5: BMS Tracking Installation
The documentation of installing the Tracking Installation that was installed, in which that is for the purpose to detect the exact date when one of the satellite images of Los Angeles County gets refreshed, for the duration of the project.

P3: BMS Clock
BMS Clock that counts days until the image of Los Angeles gets refreshed.

A1: Geoeye-2 Satellite Pixel Grid
Geoeye is one of the commerical satellite image provider for Google. Each square indicates one pixel of Geoeye-2 satellite that will be launching in year 2013.

1-3: BMS Mission Kits
Tools that are designed based on observing the documentation of participants’ completed missions.

4: Satellite Coverage Atlas
Short background history of the satellite image production, and photo illustrations of various satellite image coverage by location, resolution, refresh timeline, and censored areas.

5, 6: Balloon Camera and the Projection of the Live Feed from the Camera.

Tracking Installation

BeMySatellite leverages daily missions focused on how to maximize the use of the satellite passing time as first step to “hack” the system. Each mission is designed for people to iterate in order for it to potentially become a daily, personal, routine with the goal / purpose of being documented by a satellite in mind. The more frequently you’re in the sight of each satellite as they pass, the more you increase the chance of being photographed.

The satellite images that are accessible on the public domain (such as Google, Yahoo and Bing) are not all covered by the high resolution satellites (the high resolution images that are acquired by commercial satellites is what this project is targeting through our daily missions). Google, for example, updates their satellite images every 6 months to three years on average, and only in select parts of the world at a time. It is almost inevitable that permanent structures (buildings, houses, trees, roads, etc.) will eventually end up in the public domain.

The temporal aspect as to when a certain location will get photographed is not open information and, as a result, people aren’t able to engage in the photo taking process. Pre-arranging certain locations to be documented by a satellite is a costly process (cost of the image, cost of licensing, cost to run analysis, etc). On the contrary, once an image of a certain location ends up on one of the public domains, it is freely accessible and open for the public to view, free of cost.

In order to detect the exact date when one of the satellite images of Los Angeles County gets refreshed, I have installed a permanent ‘tracking installation’ for the duration of the project. This ‘tracking installation’ will allow us to identify the exact date the image was taken, therefore allowing us to check each pending location where participants have attempted to get their overhead mark to appear. Each day is marked by a different marker on the accessible roof area of this building. Below slide is the documentation of the process when the installation took place: