View Full Version : Real time fly-in coverage

06-12-2009, 02:51 PM

Even if you live in the extreme hinterlands, some technology does eventually drift down. I have longed for an iPhone, but we have no AT&T coverage so that doesn't work. Within the last week a very capable smart phone was introduced on the Sprint network, which is available to even we bumpkins.

While playing around with this amazing tiny device several possibilities entered my mind. It is feasible, and probably has been for long, to others, to walk around a fly-in, snap decent wide angle photos, and with a couple of button presses, upload them to the Internet. Total elapsed time, maybe 30 seconds or so. The biggest drawback I see is that you cannot caption the photos quickly from the phone, you would have to go online and deal with the website. Doable, but cumbersome. It also may be possible to upload photos in flight.

Tomorrow there is a little fly-in at Denver City, Texas where I plan to try this out. The URL is http://photobucket.com/Larrys_RV-Photos There is nothing there now but things should start showing up around 8AM MDT or so (6/13/09). Click the "Slideshow" button at the upper right of the page then pause the slideshow and control the photo presentation with the controls at the lower left.

There is usually a good RV contingent from Lubbock at this fly-in

From some hints DR has dropped, it looks like he may be doing something similar from LOE this year, but I will be first (as far as I know)!

06-12-2009, 04:08 PM
Looking forward to seeing this work Larry!


06-13-2009, 09:07 AM
Working great, Larry!

Of course, this warrants a special Saturday update on the front page of www.VansAirForce.net :D!!!

I played with the similar setup on my iPhone and Picasa not too long ago. This stuff is pretty amazing, and the potential uses are numerous!

06-13-2009, 11:37 AM
Amazingly good imagery Larry - really neat!

Louise Hose
06-13-2009, 11:49 AM
Very cool pictures. I recognized a lot of sights and people! Thanks for sharing.

06-13-2009, 02:49 PM
Just curious Lary what is the phone?

06-13-2009, 03:40 PM
If its the one that just came out last week, it's the "Pre" by Sprint. I just got my first Blackberry with Nextel and I am very impressed by all the features.

06-13-2009, 03:44 PM
Just curious Larry what is the phone?It is a Palm Pre.


I had to go against a lot of my inclinations. I thought I would never take a digital photo. Do you remember what those early ones were like? Horrible quality and horrible shutter lag. I really really thought I would never take a picture with a phone. Same problems, but worse and here I am today posting 47 phone pictures and you know what, it was neat!

The pictures still aren't what you would call high quality but if you look at it like an art school assignment to get something visually interesting with a Brownie, it is an fun challenge. Really my biggest dissatisfactions are with Photobucket which I haven't used before and which the phone is set up to use. One thing I don't like is how the quality is so degraded when looking at the photos in the slide show, they have the jaggies and all that the actual photos don't have. Blow them up and you will see they are pretty clean.

The other thing about Photobucket is that it organized the photos last in, first up, which kind of ruins the whole Zen, stream-of-consciousness vibe. I did find an option to reorganize them which I have now done. I'll have to see if you can do that as the default.

Now the technical stuff. Yes, it may be illegal to have your digital computer/communications/e-mail device turned on when your feet aren't touching the ground. I have seen arguments both ways and I would prefer that that would be discussed in another thread. One thing I will tell you though, is I didn't talk any on my cellphone while airbourne, shoot, I hardly talk on it on the ground. It was funny to me that I got several e-mails, while in flight.

I had data service most of the time while in the air but wasn't successful every time in uploading while airbourne. All the data service around here is basic, slow-speed stuff and the uploads (ground and air) took a lot longer than I expected and longer than it took during my testing. Basically the phone was uploading pretty continuously for maybe 2 hours or so. It got toasty and the battery got sucked dry. Maybe it would be better with high-speed service, but it looks like one would need spare batteries or a way to recharge, to do this for long.

The phone has Google Maps with satellite view, linked to the GPS. I thought it would be fun to bring that up and take a screen capture showing my actual position over satellite terrain photos. It didn't work because the data speed was too slow to keep the satellite photos updated at 160 knots. It would probably work on a faster network.

Oh, another thing I don't really like is just throwing up a bunch of unedited photos in rows and columns, but I'll forgive myself in this case. What you see is what was there.

Anyone trying to follow the flight may be confused. The gas pump broke at Denver City so I went to Andrews for gas, that is where the golf course shots are. After that I went to Hobbs to visit friends. That is where the Milk Truck Winch and Schweizer 2-33 are.

The RV-10 was sitting on the ramp at Carlsbad with another RV, when I arrived back home.

The device