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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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

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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

Kite Flying Tree

February 16th, 2013 by dan.beavers

http://publiclaboratory.org/sites/default/files/imagefield_thumbs/IMG_02...

That tree between the pines likes to fly kites. I was a little upset with it because it was my kite. The tree finally got bored after about 45 minutes and let go so I am not too upset. It took me a couple of hours to find the kite but when I did there was absolutely no damage to it. I love Tyvek! The wind was very gusty and the line got snagged by the tree during an extended lull.

Kite Flying Tree

February 16th, 2013 by dan.beavers

http://publiclaboratory.org/sites/default/files/imagefield_thumbs/IMG_02...

That tree between the pines likes to fly kites. I was a little upset with it because it was my kite. The tree finally got bored after about 45 minutes and let go so I am not too upset. It took me a couple of hours to find the kite but when I did there was absolutely no damage to it. I love Tyvek! The wind was very gusty and the line got snagged by the tree during an extended lull.

Easy Cut Delta Kite simplification

February 2nd, 2013 by dan.beavers

Wintercamp activities included working on simplifying the kite build. From the left. A pocket for the spar spreader that we were not really happy with. Next is the mini-caribener and pex plastic pipe. This was the standard attachment. The solution we arrived with eliminated the additional parts. Next are 3 mock-ups of folded pockets. The last item is the almost final form.

http://publiclaboratory.org/sites/default/files/imagefield_thumbs/IMG_00...

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Easy Cut Delta Kite simplification

February 2nd, 2013 by dan.beavers

Wintercamp activities included working on simplifying the kite build. From the left. A pocket for the spar spreader that we were not really happy with. Next is the mini-caribener and pex plastic pipe. This was the standard attachment. The solution we arrived with eliminated the additional parts. Next are 3 mock-ups of folded pockets. The last item is the almost final form.

http://publiclaboratory.org/sites/default/files/imagefield_thumbs/IMG_00...

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.)

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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

Mapping trees that are in high risk of uprooting at Shapira Neighborhood, Tel Aviv-Yafo

August 24th, 2012 by shaief

Published originally on my website

About two months ago, on June 12th, we woke up to the sounds of heavy machinery. Through the window we saw a bulldozer and a crane uprooting olive trees from the area behind our house. We went outside and stood in front of the bulldozer and caused its operator to stop working. The crane continued to work, so we jumped on a tree. By doing so we prevented the work for about a month and saved 1 out of 4 trees that were uprooted at that day.

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Mapping trees that are in high risk of uprooting at Shapira Neighborhood, Tel Aviv-Yafo

August 24th, 2012 by shaief

Published originally on my website

About two months ago, on June 12th, we woke up to the sounds of heavy machinery. Through the window we saw a bulldozer and a crane uprooting olive trees from the area behind our house. We went outside and stood in front of the bulldozer and caused its operator to stop working. The crane continued to work, so we jumped on a tree. By doing so we prevented the work for about a month and saved 1 out of 4 trees that were uprooted at that day.

read more