Aerial photomap of Belize Open Source

I flew the Mavic Mini around the property at 400 feet (~129 meters).

At Belize international Airport I had WiFi and was able to upload the images from my laptop to Drone Deploy’s cloud-based software which processed 486 photos to make an orthomosaic map and 3D model. Here is a screenshot from my phone.

BOSSD near August Pine Ridge

The high resolution map and model are at:;jwt_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJleHAiOjI1MzQwMjMwMDc5OSwiaWQiOiI1ZTJkZDdiNTcxYWQwYTE1OWRiMzUyYmIiLCJzY29wZSI6WyJhMWY0MTk4YWIzXzQ1NUMxNTc2RjZPUEVOUElQRUxJTkUiXSwidHlwZSI6IlJlYWRPbmx5UGxhbiIsIm92ZXJsYXlfZm9sZGVyX2lkIjoiNWUyZGQ3NjQ3MWFkMGExNTlkYjM1MmJhIn0.248MAnt0ALRueQsnApWUcKeDgTNMaTew8dGTQ_ZEK7ipdpVLYCYHk9przjsX9BjIiKVixmKO1w73oZbApgiSKQ

Additional details about the map are at:

Leaving Gamboa, Panama

I’m was at Canopy B&B, waiting for ride to airport. Now I’m in line at the airport.

I had great time here. I came to visit Andrew Quitmeyer, at Digital Naturalism Laboratories (DINA: via invitation from Shannon Dosemagen, long-time Public Lab friend. You can see what Public Lab is about at:

I’d been intrigued by a map and 3-D model of Gamboa that Andy had made from a drone flight. I brought my new Mavic Mini that I had maybe 6 min of flight time with. Andy coached me, and we flew a section of Gamboa Marsh where a music festival had fumigated and dumped a load of gravel inappropriately. So it was a live, real use case. We took over 300 photos, at 2-second intervals, from 100 m, flying manually.

We started a map in Mapknitter, then I used Drone Deploy’s trial offer to make a map and 3D model.

Andy also introduced me to Andrew Coates. His firm Cresolus ( specializes in architecture and construction in the tropics. We were able to talk briefly and he’s interested in helping come up with an open source design with very simple IKEA-like instructions for building houses that might be used at the Belize Open Source – Sustainable Development site. It is convenient that he is already working in Belize for a government of Belize project funded by World Bank, to renovate a repurpose an old forest station with ~ 40 buildings, on the way to the Carocol Mayan ruins. He’s also renovated the facilities at The Thousand Foot Falls in the mountain pine ridge area of Belize. Andrew had great ideas about how one might approach this similar to a boat building company out of Chesapeake Bay. They offer

kits that you can buy and make yourself

classes where you can come and learn and build your own

or they build and deliver to you

Andrew talked about his Panama hut initiative which has trained builders to fabricate and then be able to flat pack and send the small very nice units. See:

I emailed Andy and Andrew that I was sure glad we were able to chat for a few minutes. Very productive!

I sent a PDF of the dual vault composting latrine design package, as well as the bill of materials, for the ones that we’ve been doing for ~ $415 per unit cost in Nicaragua (111 to date, with another Rotary global grant nearing approval to do 80 more in seven communities.)

I also sent link to the drum-based composting toilet system I spoke of separately.

I stressed I appreciate what Andrew is doing and the opportunity to try and partner on a vision for the little Belize place.

I think the open source construction manual, training workshops, sponsorship for the local Belizeans to become certified builders, all really sounds terrific.

After, Andrew wrote, “Good to talk to you.I love the idea of creating a simple tropical home that is kit built from an “IKEA” guide. Available to all.”

I also used another cloud based software to process a test set of photos from our El Llanito, Nicaragua water supply aerial image contractor who flew tests from up the hill to sector 5 in the community, just reaching our areas of active trenching (visible on far right side) in this scaled small sample aerial map. The preliminary results are encouraging for being able to map our project.

Test from processed aerial images

You can also download the results (in a BIG zip file) from:

Phil Bowman, our responsible engineer in charge (REIC) indicated winds that stopped them have stayed too high, so they will coordinate with EWB Nica Country Office and the water committee (CAPS) on when to return.

Phil and the team have continued to make great progress on the well support building and other tasks.

Installing the plumb lines to ensure the cement blocks are laid level and straight
Alara, Claire and Tuana help with the grout
We were able to coordinate with Martin and Maribel today on trench digging. Our UC Berkeley chapter colleagues were assigned a stretch of trench to dig near Zeleyda’s house