All posts by adam

Gov Island Trip #2

Tomorrow morning our team (Daniel, Pia, and I) will be heading out to Governors Island again after our first trip didn’t quite work out. While we got a little flying time last Monday, we couldn’t get the camera paired with the wireless extender, or with the apps on our phones. There was a lot of trial and error, but after class Ben discovered that the QR code on the box of the respective Phantom itself needed to be scanned with the phone that wanted to be used with the Phantom. Also, we learned that the wireless extenders are specific to a Phantom, so now everything is labeled appropriately.

As for our goals for tomorrow: We’ll be headed back out to the western side of the island where we’ll be filming the new park. Lexi will direct us as to where specifically we’ll be able to shoot (as long as it doesn’t interfere with ongoing construction) and give us recommendations for any other places on the island that would be visually appealing. Our ultimate goal is to get multiple sweeping shots of the park from different heights/perspectives.

Additionally, we’ll be interviewing Elizabeth Rapuano, GI’s director of communications. We’ll try to keep it to about 30 minutes and use her responses between shots of the park/island. She’d also mentioned there may be other people we could interview, but couldn’t confirm their availability until we actually arrived so we’ll play it by ear.  However, Elizabeth’s content alone will be more than satisfactory for our needs.

Update on Gov Island

Pia,and I have joined forces to work together on Governors Island, and Daniel has offered to help as much as he is able. We’ve been in contact with Elizabeth Rapuano, the director of communications for Governors Island, who will be our main point of contact for the project. Our team will continue to develop our script and assign roles for researching the parts of the island we want to shoot, as well as approach individuals we want to interview. Ultimately we’re looking to make about a five minute video.

Our next steps are submitting our proposed dates to Elizabeth and setting out for Governors Island at our first opportunity (weather permitting). Before that we’ll have a working script, confirmed our shot list, and our interview subjects. Additionally, Pia and I will log more flight time to get more comfortable with the Phantom.

Governors Island’s New Park



In May 2014, a new 30-acre park will open in New York on Governors Island. For over 200 years, Governors Island had been a military installation, first used by the Army, and in 1966 transferred to the Coast Guard. In the mid 2000s, Governors Island opened to the public as a space for a variety of purposes: arts installations, concerts, food fairs, car shows, and more.

For the past several years, however, a completely new park on the island has been designed with public input as to how they would want to see a 21st century park in NYC. Though closed to the public until Memorial Day, this phase of the park is largely completed, empty on weekends, and visually appealing.

A drone journalism project about the new park on Governors Island would be the ideal story for our class to tell. It’s relevant to New Yorkers and timed well with when our project would finish, we have an excellent chance of getting the cooperation of park officials who could work with us to give us access to park designers and other informational sources, there would be little to no safety or privacy concerns, and, most importantly, using a drone would allow us to visually tell a story that couldn’t be told any other way.

The Drone Rung

On January 20, in the German-speaking part of northern Italy, a massive boulder rolled down a mountain and through a 300-year-old farmhouse. No one was injured, but the destruction the boulder caused was fairly devastating.

One of the first pictures released was this:

While it shows that some destruction happened, it’s hard to get a clear sense of the extent of the damage. Later, a local news outlet employed the use of a UAV to create the following video:

Instantly, the scope of the landslide is felt. At last count, 2.5 million viewers have now watched this video and better understand what it means when thousands of cubic meters of rock descend on farmlands and houses.

Video isn’t an inherently better medium to pictures, nor to audio, nor to text. However, advancements in technology improve everything. Text goes from static newspapers to dynamic websites, audio goes from radio to podcasts, advancements in photography and video gave us color and high definition, and now drones can put cameras where they weren’t able to go before, to tell stories in ways we couldn’t tell them. The more technology advances, the more aware we’ll all be of the world around us, and the more we can do to change it.