Claire asks: “Any idea what this unidentified floating object is? Spotted from 9th and D NE just now. Hard to tell where it’s tethered, but maybe H and 5th or 6th?”

This is the famed imaging balloon of course! Our last sighting was September 2020. In March of 2020 we got to see the great view from up there.

Elliot also sent a shot earlier from H Street, NE: Read More


“360 degree annotated aerial visualization showing Digital Design & Imaging Service’s typical line-of-sight study used by city planners and developers to calculate the views from proposed buildings.”view here

We get queries about the imaging balloon every few months. Now we get a chance to see what it saw and it’s pretty awesome! Thanks to the folks from AirPhotosLive for sharing this awesomeness: “Here is the aerial which may cover much of your readerships neighborhoods.”


Thanks to Ken for sending the shot above:

“Taken from my office, facing west over 19th Street.”

And Josh sends from the 600 block of T Street, NW below:

Our first sighting of the imaging balloon was back in October 2009. Last year we learned “The balloon was launched by Digital Design and Imaging Inc. to take aerial photos of the District’s skyline as part of the joint Height Master Plan the DC Office of Planning and the National Capital Planning Commission are conducting in response to a Congressional request.”

Though I wonder if the explanation is still accurate. Why is the survey taking so long or maybe this is a new survey?


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