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.

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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.

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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

Timeline of a Public Labs map project

May 8th, 2012 by Stewart Long

cross-posted from PBS's IdeaLab. How We Got Here: The Road to Public Lab's Map Project

Last week, Public Laboratory announced that public domain maps are now starting to show up on Google Earth and Google Maps. But how did the projects get there? Here's a timeline of a Public Laboratory map project.

MAKING A MAP

read more

Timeline of a Public Labs map project

May 8th, 2012 by Stewart Long

cross-posted from PBS's IdeaLab. How We Got Here: The Road to Public Lab's Map Project

Last week, Public Laboratory announced that public domain maps are now starting to show up on Google Earth and Google Maps. But how did the projects get there? Here's a timeline of a Public Laboratory map project.

MAKING A MAP

read more