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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Lee, NH PLOTS/FarmHack Meetup

May 29th, 2012 by cfastie

We had a successful day last week balloon mapping an agricultural experiment study in Lee, New Hampshire. Dorn Cox of GreenStart hosted the day at the site of a no-till trial where hairy vetch had been seeded the previous September into established hay field turf. Thirteen different experimental treatments with four replicates each are designed to reveal the best management practices for conserving fuel, enhancing soil carbon, and reducing weeds while switching from grass-based to legume-based cover.

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NDVI out of the shadows

May 15th, 2012 by cfastie

On May 5 my Public Laboratory infrared camera made its first photographic flight. The shutters of two Powershot A495 cameras, one modified to record only near-infrared (NIR) light, were triggered every 10 seconds by an AuRiCo KAP controller. The Levitation delta kite hoisted the rig over the northern edge of the Salisbury Swamp, VT. In about 1.5 hours, 420 synchronous pairs of normal and NIR photos were captured. It has taken a while to process just a fraction of these images, but the results are promising.

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