We are looking for software or a web service that we can put in pictures we took using our weather balloon to create a single image, that we can use as a layer for our GIS project. Preferably free, or free for education.

EDIT: We use a ESRI system

  • How many images are you working with?
    – Roy
    Apr 27, 2012 at 13:38
  • A few hundred, our camera is setup to take a picture every few seconds.
    – 478Analyst
    Apr 27, 2012 at 13:39

3 Answers 3


The Towson University geospatial research & education lab has done something similar. They used Microsoft Image Composite Editor to mosaic pictures captured from a balloon and Microsoft Photosynth for capturing and viewing in 3D.


See the contact info on the PDF for more information/questions.

  • 1
    Thanks! just tried the software referenced in the document, and it works great. And it is a very similar project.
    – 478Analyst
    Apr 27, 2012 at 14:29
  • You're welcome. Glad to hear its similar enough to be useful.
    – user3461
    Apr 27, 2012 at 14:34

I don't know if software is quite good enough yet to do this automatically, though I know Microsoft Research was doing some cool stuff along these lines a few years ago. Ah, here we are, PhotoSynth

An alternate option is manually georeferencing with something like QGIS or GvSIG or any one of a number of free Open Source GIS. Then Mosaic them together using GDAL or its ilk.

You can possibly outsource the work, but as you likely have students around its probably a better idea (cheaper and educative) to get them to do it.


We have not ever tried it, but could be interesting: http://mapknitter.org/

I guess it needed an internet connection with a important speed!

Good job!

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