Google Earth adds balloon and kite aerial imagery, invites you to contribute

Google Earth already offers quite a variety of ways to explore the planet, but the folks in Mountain View never seem content to leave things alone for long. Their latest addition is some aerial imagery of a slightly different sort -- images shot from ordinary balloons and kites. That initial batch of photos comes courtesy of The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, which is itself a grassroots effort that anyone can contribute to. And that's apparently what Google hopes folks will do in order to expand the aerial views available -- as Google notes on its Lat Long blog, all that you need to get started is a digital camera and about $100 in parts, plus a little initiative. Complete details on how to start your own DIY mapping effort, or simply explore the options now available, can be found at the links below.