Kite Photos of Tikehau Motu Now in Google Earth

Tikehau motu kite aerial photo in Google EarthBack in June of last year, we visited the more isolated atoll in the Tuamotus called Tikehau. This atoll is the westernmost of the main Tuamotus and is just west of the largest called Rangiroa (where we first dove with a large number of sharks). After catching a big fish on the way over to Tikehau, we had a great time exploring the atoll.

One day, there was a chance to take some kite aerial photos – even though a rain squall was just south – of the islands. (Most regular readers here know I’m the publisher of the Google Earth Blog, and the Tahina Expedition has a partnership with Google). I found a very small motu (island) just west of the main island and decided we could capture it (read more about that day). For something new, I drew the name “TAHINA” in the sand hoping to capture it from the air. Jason was holding the kite string while wading in the shallow waters upwind of the island so we could capture the entire island with the camera dangling from the kite string a 100m in the air. I was standing on the beach holding the remote to control the camera, and my image was captured in several of the straight down photos. Weeks later, I managed to upload all the photos to our server. My friend Stewart Long, of GonzoEarth, is a professional at processing aerial photography. In his spare time, Stewart worked over the imagery and, a couple of months later, we sent it to Google. Finally, the imagery went live in Google Earth early last week. So, now everyone can see it!

Kite Aerial Photo of Tikehau motu with Tahina on beach

I was pleased to see our name TAHINA showed up clearly, and not only that – because of the way the imagery stitched – pictures of me ended up showing up twice on the beach! (No, that’s not a clone of me – just an extra copy.) If you visit this place in Google Earth , you can see the rest of the motu in ultra high resolution (much higher than most Google Earth imagery, you can even zoom in further than seen above). Or you can try in Google Maps.

This is the fifth set of kite aerial imagery we have had published so far. For some other examples check out: Manihi village, BBQ Island, and Petite Tabac. If you’re interested in how we take the photos, read this post and view the photo album to see how its done.

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