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.


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