Haiti Mission

Mission Sumary (Draft: updated 30.10 see as well the sub pages; Haiti Mission - APDER Products - a table of the different Products - click on on the yellow cells and you are linked to the product, as well see "Opinion of Expert" and APDER Video Tutorials)


This page provides of short impression of our Mission to Haiti. To see the results and different forms of Aerial Photos and the resulting products  - scroll down in your browser window..

APDER undertook its first test mission recently in Haiti. As no Sponsors were found, the members decided to finance the mission themself. Accommodation and Helium Gas was provided by UN HABITAT, transport was provided by the participating organisations Goal, Cordaid, French/Haitian Red Cross Society, Architect Urgence, IOM and UN HABITAT.  


Results of the mission are extraordinary good and it has proven that the technology of using blimps and the application and products of the aerial photos are apparently the most cost effective and efficient manner in disaster , pre-disaster and post disaster situations to obtain information (data acquisition) for decision making planning and coordination.




Quality of the APDER Aerial Photos 

Comparison between APDER and Google Earth


Compare yourself the difference - start the video - (if you have high speed connection change to HD Quality (down right - wheel in You tube window))

Please note that Google Earth Images of Port au Prince is compared to other regions higher.

Advantages of APDER Aerial Photos:

- Quality (Resolution of the Photos)

- up to date (can be produced imediately)

- Production cost - the cost of the production of Aerial Photos (equipment) made by APDER itself or a trained team is around 1 to 2 percent of the cost of a satellite image and around 5 to 30 percent of Aerial Photos made with other equipment.

- Blimps (Balloon) are the only mean to produce Spherical models which allows a 3 dimensional impression of the Aerial view.


From Aerial Photos to Products

I. Utilisation of Aerial Photos

I.1. Photos can be posted in various places for information sharing purposes within the WorldWideWeb:
Example: Panoramino
Click me to have a view on the Presidential Palace in Port au Prince, Haiti (Photo made at the 19th of February 2012)

I.2. Another application is the support of photos in any kind of analysis - for instance historical comparison serves monitoring purposes:
Click me to see an example of a historical comparison indicating if changes have been made - as you can see in this photo - no rehabilitation/reconstruction efforts have been made concernig the Palais Presidential.


II. Utilisation of Photos and Aerial Photos - Photos can be assembled (stitched) to Panoramic Photos (Panos)

II.1. Panos from the ground:
Click me (Photo posted in Google Panoramino) to see a Panoramic Photo (Ground photo) from Canaan Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5 - Canaan is located near Port au Prince and since the Earthquake in 2010 it is growing as an informal settlement.

II.2. Panos from the air:  (compare the difference between Ground and Aerial view - how much more Information?) 
Click me (Photo posted in Google Panoramino) to see the same example of an Aerial Panoramic Photo from Port au Prince/ Canaan Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5 and compare the difference how much more information you can obtain from the birds eye perspective.
Click me to see an example of Canaan, first launching site and compare with the Ground photo.  (Photo posted in Panoramino - huge file with 10,4 MB  - if you are in Haiti and you have a slow connection  be patient)
 click me to see the same example posted on Drop box - it allows you to zoom in (PC - left Mouse) - huge file size with 16,4 MB. 
APDER Recommendation:  
- apply the zoom in and compare with Google Earth
- the position of the Blimp launch place is 18º39'19.38"N / 72º15'51.81"W

Other examples of stitched Aerial Photos:
Click on the photos below to see other Aerial Panoramic Photos from Port au Prince / Morne Hebo and Villa Rosa/Sant Marie 
120216_APDER_Pano_Villa_Rosa2          APDER_Pano_Villa Rosa_PortauPrice

Zenital or Vertical Photos can be stitched to Mosaics which can be geo-referenced to be used in GIS (Geographical Information Systems)
Examples: will come soon

Photos can be posted for instance in Google Earth and saved as Kml Files
Examples: will come soon

III. Utilisation of Aerial Photos - Photos can be assembled to Spherical Models (SM) 
(Attention: for Panoramic Photos and Spherical Models uploaded on Microsoft Photosynth -composite and synthed Models - you need to install the Microsoft program Silverlight and it is best to use Internet Explorer as Browser  - for Mac Users you need an OS higher than 10.2 - Silverlight is Freeware and available )

The are 3 different ways to produce Spherical Models :

III.1. to composite the photos (Panoramic Photos)- "stiched and united" and 
Click me  (posted in Microsoft Photosynth) to see an example of a composited spheric model: Canaan /Zone 2,3,4 and 5  - a very good example for monitoring the development and expansion of informal settlements - compare yourself with the Panoramic Photo taken from the ground.

III.2. to synth the photos - "assembled and overlayed" 
Click me (posted in Microsoft Photosynth) to see an example of a synthed Spheric Model:  Displaced Camp DHAOMEY in Port au Prince - a very good demonstration about the power of resolution  and the capacity of laying out the different angles. This effect is especially helpful in order to estimate damages after an earthquake or a flooding and coordinate and plan rescue activities.

Click me  to see a synthed Spherical Model from Petion Ville/Jalosie

Click me (posted in Microsoft Photosynth) to see an examples of synthed vertical (zenital) Aerial Photos. We used more than a hundred vertical photos to synth this scene together. 

III.3. Procedure 1. and 2. together
Click me (posted in Microsoft Photosynth) to see an example of the vertical photos Aerial Photos from above which we composited, croped and than synthed together.

Click me to see same above but unprocessed stitched zenital (vertical) photos (well it is more art than useful)

IV. Utilisation of Aerial Photos - Spheric Aerial Photos Assembled Photos can combined with visual and other information such as reports to Spheric (Aerial) Model Information Systems (SMIS)

The photos can be processed to a SMIS (Spheric Model Information System) which consists in assembling the photos not only as a mosaic (like the photos made by drones) but also in a spherical model. Within one hour the spherical model can be processed and used on the spot for instance in an Onsite Operation and Coordination Centre  - which is important in an Emergency situation.
The blimp is -as far as we know- the only system allowing this kind of spherical modelling.
For the time being the SMIS made in Port-au-Prince are displayed on a page with restricted access, as it is still on a trial version.  

SMIS (first trial - incomplete!) 
(Attention: for SMIS - you need to install the ADOBE Programms: Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe Shock Wave Player 11 -both programms are Freeware and available on the Adobe Download section on their web site)
Example  - Champs de Mars : Click me
The following example was made together Architecs d´Urgence
Example  - Rue Delmas 68 : Click me
Findings: 
Examples mentioned in I. II., III. (only possible with Internet connection)when posted in the Internet need Internet Connection which applies as well for Satellite images.   Internet connectivity poses problems when images are needed in case of Emergencies or in locations with weak Internet Connections (mostly in Developing countries or in remote areas). 
The advantage with APDER´s technology and the photo processing methods as mentioned in VI. is that it can be done without any Internet Connection. 

V. Utilisation of Aerial Photos  - Photos can be assembled to videos with different number of frames per second

In general videos generated from Aerial Photos are very helpful for extremely fast screening the situation.
(In an case of an Emergency such as an Earthquake: Compare yourself the information provided by the videos and how much time it would be needed to collect, collate analyse and disseminate the same information with the traditional methods  such as assessment/fact-finding mission reports, resulting meetings and transmission/dissemination time apart from the error rate of the traditional methods.) 

Find below 2 different ways of assembling Videos:

V1. Videos with selected APDER Photos assembled to Videos - slow speed

Champs de Mars -Centre de Port au Prince





Watch the different sequences of the Photos taken with the Blimp going up to approximately 230 m hight and down again. 
Please note: that the quality of the original photos was reduced to 10% to convert the photos to this video independent of the quality of the You Tube Video.














V2. Videos - all Photos of a single tour are assembled to Videos - high speed
(Please note once you started the video: you can vary the quality of the  You tube Video Window in the Menu right corner below of the Video Window - for the following videos you should have a high speed Internet connection to see the videos in HD quality (or you have to be patient) !  All the photos of this single "Blimp tour" have been taken for this video. The photos have been reduced in quality and rendered. The original files had between 1.3 and 1.8 GB.)

Architects de l'urgence Spot 3








see please note comment above
















Information about the first APDER Field Test

Summary of all APDER Blimp tours




The APDER team stayed 8 days in Haiti and tested a new prototype of a Scan Blimp. 
In 23 blimp launching, in different spots, APDER took over 10 000 aerial photos (approx. 60 GB) summaries of this Blimp photo tours are available.

















The system has proven to be very easily handled, operated and manoeuvred in different geographical locations (open field, dense urban settlement etc...).
As a direct result, the information given by the photos is immediately available and can be displayed on screen on the ground. The resolution of the photos has the highest of all existing systems used in humanitarian application. It allows zooming in as far as seeing accurate details on buildings, narrow streets, etc. Additionally, each photo taken provides a 3 dimensional information which is unique and can only be made - so far - with a blimp (there are exception from experts using Octocopters or Kites - but experts saying that it requires a lot of experience (years) in flying this means and stitching later the Aerial photos together)