In 2007, Stuart suggested we send an expensive camera up in a kite. So we did. We had a kite the size of a queen-sized bed that would lift up the dSLR in 3mph winds, a camera with remote control in a picavet suspension, and a distance-marked kitestring. I came up with some ground markers that would allow us to stitch images together and we managed to get the kite going several times. Unfortunately, we never quite got the height we wanted and the kite-surveying idea never really panned out. We got some neat photos though. Find some more info on the Echinacea Field Log
If I were to tackle this again, I'd just get a quadcopter. It was a nightmare trying to get the camera to go where you wanted with the kitestring and you don't have great control. The quadcopter gives you decent stability for a relatively modest price and should be easier to deal with than a kite.
I have been building some maps in R with ggmap. You can see some of the code online
I wrote a little script to parse http gist URLS and clone them as git urls so I don't need to type in a password.
I put together an interactive key using Lucid 3.3, but the experience was not a pleasant one. Their installer was completely broken on Linux even after going back and forth with support. After finally fixing it, I got to experience the software. Not only is the interface confusing, the software is rather slow and seemed prone to crashing. There's also no way to enter in data from a text source, so be prepared to a lot of mousing around. This also makes it impossible to update the key from a database or keep it under and reasonable version control. It's certainly not worth the expensive license.
I wrote a script to mount up a debian chroot from android, but never really got around to using it due to the lack of a good X server limiting its usefulness. Code's here