Grassroots Mapping is a series of participatory mapping projects involving communities in cartographic dispute. Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography, the grassroots mappers used helium balloons and kites to loft their own “community satellites” made with inexpensive digital cameras.

This site has been merged into Public Lab

At Public Lab, we've grown the Grassroots Mapping community into a broader effort to enable communities to understand and respond to environmental threats with DIY techniques.

Read more and join us »

Vermont Winter Festival, Viewed from a Kite String

March 1st, 2013 by KalynRosenberg

A kite aerial photography field report

Date of flight: January 27, 2013
Site: North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, Vermont
Occasion: Ice on Fire deep winter celebration

read more

Vermont Winter Festival, Viewed from a Kite String

March 1st, 2013 by KalynRosenberg

A kite aerial photography field report

Date of flight: January 27, 2013
Site: North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, Vermont
Occasion: Ice on Fire deep winter celebration

read more

Balloon Mapping From the Ground Up: Public Lab’s Field Techniques

January 2nd, 2013 by Stewart Long

cross-posted from PBS's IdeaLab

Public Lab's balloon- and kite-based mapping approach is a new way to take aerial images from the ground. However, there are some considerations and things that can be learned from a few map stories.

Each map project has distinct characteristics in its time, place, and local atmospheric conditions. Here are several examples of how those factors make each balloon and kite map unique.

LAKE MERRITT (OAKLAND, CALIF.)

read more

Balloon Mapping From the Ground Up: Public Lab’s Field Techniques

January 2nd, 2013 by Stewart Long

cross-posted from PBS's IdeaLab

Public Lab's balloon- and kite-based mapping approach is a new way to take aerial images from the ground. However, there are some considerations and things that can be learned from a few map stories.

Each map project has distinct characteristics in its time, place, and local atmospheric conditions. Here are several examples of how those factors make each balloon and kite map unique.

LAKE MERRITT (OAKLAND, CALIF.)

read more

Raising the Dead: Grassroots Mappers Help Look For America’s First Veterans Cemetery.

November 8th, 2012 by eymund-diegel

An ordinary looking concrete slab in Brooklyn - what story does it really tell ?

"To balloon or to kite, that is the question.."

Just after Independence Day 2012, the “Over My Dead Body” balloon mapping expedition set out to capture high resolution aerials of a very special grave site: America’s first ever military cemetery.

Their site of interest was none other than the fabled Marylander Burial Ground, rumored location of the first soldiers ever to die as Americans in the 1776 War of Independence.

read more

Raising the Dead: Grassroots Mappers Help Look For America’s First Veterans Cemetery.

November 8th, 2012 by eymund-diegel

An ordinary looking concrete slab in Brooklyn - what story does it really tell ?

"To balloon or to kite, that is the question.."

Just after Independence Day 2012, the “Over My Dead Body” balloon mapping expedition set out to capture high resolution aerials of a very special grave site: America’s first ever military cemetery.

Their site of interest was none other than the fabled Marylander Burial Ground, rumored location of the first soldiers ever to die as Americans in the 1776 War of Independence.

read more

Shannon Dosemagen Interviews Scott Eustis of Gulf Restoration Network

October 4th, 2012 by mathew

This interview is from the summer issue of Grassroots Mapping Forum, our quarterly print publication. Subscribe here.

Shannon Dosemagen sat down with Scott Eustis of the Gulf Restoration Network to discuss the shifting sands and fortunes of the Mississippi Delta and the Chandeleur Islands

Can you tell me a bit about GRN, the work you’re doing with them, mission, some of the work that your co-workers are doing?

read more

Shannon Dosemagen Interviews Scott Eustis of Gulf Restoration Network

October 4th, 2012 by mathew

This interview is from the summer issue of Grassroots Mapping Forum, our quarterly print publication. Subscribe here.

Shannon Dosemagen sat down with Scott Eustis of the Gulf Restoration Network to discuss the shifting sands and fortunes of the Mississippi Delta and the Chandeleur Islands

Can you tell me a bit about GRN, the work you’re doing with them, mission, some of the work that your co-workers are doing?

read more

Print maps from the PLOTS Archive and MapKnitter

May 10th, 2012 by Stewart Long

This was a bit lost in the hubbub over the Google announcement, but a few weeks ago we added a feature to order a print directly from MapKnitter and from the PLOTS map archive. Users can now click-through directly from their map details page. Public Laboratory map production is working towards a end-to-end open source solution:

  • Planning. Getting started with Public Lab map tools, collaborate, learn about safety first
  • Capture. Taking aerial images
  • Sorting. Selecting the best images locally or online with mapmill.org

read more

Print maps from the PLOTS Archive and MapKnitter

May 10th, 2012 by Stewart Long

This was a bit lost in the hubbub over the Google announcement, but a few weeks ago we added a feature to order a print directly from MapKnitter and from the PLOTS map archive. Users can now click-through directly from their map details page. Public Laboratory map production is working towards a end-to-end open source solution:

  • Planning. Getting started with Public Lab map tools, collaborate, learn about safety first
  • Capture. Taking aerial images
  • Sorting. Selecting the best images locally or online with mapmill.org

read more