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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Oil residue preparation for spectroscopy

July 26th, 2012 by warren

Parts & Crafts campers worked with me to produce this guide to sample preparation of oil or tar contaminated soil. This covers just the sample prep and how to see fluorescence in samples with a green laser. You'll need to construct a spectrometer to measure the samples' colors and try to identify the contaminant:

Dual camera KAP rig

February 22nd, 2012 by cfastie

Here is a prototype rig that performed well on its maiden flight. The design might be appropriate for matched visible/IR cameras for vertical photography, like the Canon A495s from the Balloon Mapping Kickstarter project. For such a use, it would require the addition of an intervalometer to trigger both cameras simultaneously. I am not yet sure how to add that function.

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Picavet PET rig

February 5th, 2012 by mathew

A Picavet rig is a very common type of KAP/BAP rig, I've added it to the juice bottle in a fairly simple way, using 1/2" key rings.

Picavet Juice bottle

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Efficient Image Sorting with Finder & Preview (Mac)

January 30th, 2012 by mathew

I've made an instructional video on efficient image sorting with Preview and Finder, for quickly winnowing down big groups of images to small sets, ready for MapKnitter:

using a knot to trigger cameras

January 29th, 2012 by mathew

This is for use with the PET Bottle Rig

Instead of using a balled up piece of tape, a pebble, or some other thing to hold down my camera's shutter, I've gone to using a knot. This makes it easy to hold in place, and makes setting it easier. I prefer a rubber band, but tape also holds it down. tape may be more useful for bulging, non rectangular cameras.

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