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23 Oct 19:02 26,260 views | Last edited by bronwen 2 days ago

What is a Public Lab barnraising?

This is the closest thing we have to a Public Lab conference -- but with an emphasis on "doing stuff together" rather than just presenting/talking. In the spirit of bringing a community together to collectively raise a structure such as a barn, Public Lab comes together to develop tools, toolkits, supporting materials such as guides and tutorials, test the tools and develop new research directions and projects. Participants represent a wide range of interests from technologists and designers to social """scientists""" and community organizers.

2014 Barnraising

  • The theme: "From the Field to Stories of Change"
  • Location: LUMCON, Cocodrie, LA
  • Date: November 14-16, 2014, with additional events before and after.
  • Cost: $10/day, sliding scale. There are a limited number of travel stipends, apply here.


List of Attendees!

Note, if you have a sad face next to your name it means you have NOT filled out the above form. Please do so!

Planning on Coming?

Here are a few things to keep in mind planning for the Barnraising.

- The Barnraising will start on Friday morning, November 14th at 9:00AM.
- For organizers, the Summit will be held at LUMCON on Thursday. If attending, plan on staying at LUMCON Wednesday evening.
- Cocodrie, LA is just over an hour and a half from New Orleans (and the airport).

Shuttles will be available at the following times between New Orleans and Cocodrie LA:
- 7 and 9PM Wednesday Cocodrie for the Organizer's Summit,
- 4PM and 9PM Thursday to Cocodrie for the Barnraising
- 2PM Sunday, after the Barnraising ends, back to New Orleans. This would leave time for people to catch evening flights out on Sunday after 4:00.
**We can help connect people with rides if your travel schedule ends up being outside of these times. (A number of people locally have mentioned they will have access to vehicles.)

There are several events around New Orleans after the Barnraising to keep in mind when planning your travel:
- Monday the 17th will be a concluding day for the Global Community Monitor conference. Public Labbers have an open invitation to this event.
- We are planning on doing a Water Hackathon the afternoon of the 19th and a Riffle Workshop the afternoon of 20th that we would love some Public Lab participation in!
- The American Public Health Association has a conference in New Orleans from the 15-19th.
**For those who are interested in staying in New Orleans for some of these events after the Barnraising, we can help to find housing arrangements. E-mail to inquire.

Session ideas

Propose your session by writing the title, one line description, how much time you expect to need, your name.

  • What's your pitch? lightning session. How do you talk about Public Lab to people who know nothing about it?
  • Illustrate a monitoring activity on a poster: form small teams and make posters that illustrate how to use public lab tools? Where we get people who draw, people who know the problem, and people who know the tech together to make beautiful posters? This could be like "paper wiki pages"! ( @warren )
    • interpreting infrared images
    • making thermal images
    • using h2s strips
    • using the riffle
  • Comparing oil, pet coke, coal, and asphalt spectra in the field and in the kitchen --Scott
  • Flame spectrometry for mercury and arsenic --scott
  • Using Public Lab tools in the classroom, community mapping, citizen science + art
  • Data collection app creation for those w/few to no programing skills (like me!).
  • Talking with impacted communities about how citizen science can be implemented.
  • Getting more youth involved --grace
  • Story telling with Environmental data.
  • Present my research on mapping the Northern Gateway Pipeline and oil sands in northwestern Canada.
  • Environmental monitoring and data analysis using the PhotosynQ platform.
  • City Mapping Project Tips, Tools and Ideas (Stevie)
  • Aerial Photography Field Trip to Bayou Sale Road/LA 57 3-4 hours in afternoon, requires boat (Gerald)
  • particulate matter sensing, scanning (Mat, Stephanie from Au)
  • How do we collaborate? hybrid online / offline methods (Liz)
  • conversation between Gulf Coast and Northeast on what kinds of advocacy strategies and tactics have worked or not
  • Indoor air quality monitoring and mitigation-- Where We Breathe Platform, formaldehyde monitoring prototype, begin speculative mold monitor development, begin speculative phytoremediation house plant pot (@nshapiro).
  • Digital Security Tools and Tactics for Environmental Rights Defenders
  • Depending on the demographic of the attendees, it would be nice to dedicate some time, especially early on (maybe the first half of the first day) to some Public Lab 101 sessions--who we are, how we're structured, how people communicate, current projects, etc. I know there has been a request for this before since we tend to get a real mix between long time contributors and brand new people at the barnraisings. (@Becki)
  • Sensor Journalism: Report from a Journalism Classroom in Which The Students Come Up With All the Right Questions For Storytelling With DIY Tools (@kanarinka and @donblair)
  • Sensor certification (also in the context of sensor journalism) -- Reporting back from a Creative Commons conference at NYU (which @donwblair & @lizbarry will also be attending) about certification vs. standards for sensor tools. Definitely don't have a stance on it yet, but it seems like an important conversation to tune into regardless. (@dangerbui)
  • 3D printer opportunity: In 2013, MakerBot Industries donated ten 3D printers to Public Lab. This donation has huge potential for educational outreach, PR, and tool development, but only about half of the printers have been put to use, and most have not done much printing. These MakerBot Replicator Dual printers are very capable machines, but this model is almost three years old, and it will quickly become outdated and difficult to maintain. Should we have a conversation about ways to make the most of this opportunity? Do you have a Public Lab project that would benefit from a 3D printer? (one hour) (@cfastie)
  • Tool upgrade paths: The community has improved on all Public Lab tools and documented the upgrades in notes, wikis, and Google Group posts. But none of these improvements is conspicuous or sanctioned by Public Lab, so finding an upgrade path is confusing. Should Public Lab describe recommended upgrade paths for its tools? (one hour) (@cfastie)
  • Mining social media. I've been thinking about ways to put different social media platforms to use in gathering data about different sites. How to survey, how to incorporate info, what ethics are involved with working with this kind of data. (@bronwen)
  • Data Flow and Entity Relationship Diagrams! (or possibly a skillshare with various info visualization tools) Drawing pictures can help us to track and identify the lifecycle of information in Public Lab projects. DFD's and ERD's are also great for things like brainstorming and resource mapping with others. (@bronwen)
  • add your idea here

Edit this page to help complete it!

Planning Committees

If you are attending, please sign up for one or more committees!

Foodcom:: Jen H. + Becki FOODCOM wiki page

Beercom :: (unwinding, downtime)

Gearcom :: jeff @warren

Doccom Liz + cfastie + bronwen (tweeting, documenting, reporting out to the online audience as things happen) Lots of people will be taking photos, shared articles/readings, etc. Let's aggregate them here, just edit this page and paste in the link below! Twitter hashtag #barnraising2014. Flickr tags: "publiclaboratory" and "barnraising2014". Please remember to share as Creative Commons Attribution at least. We can also host large amounts of files, just contact


Travelcom Stevie head organizer

Scott can be a driver + Gerald can be a driver + [?] If you'll be needing a ride to / from the airport, or from New Orleans to Cocodrie, give us a heads up and put your incoming travel details here and outgoing travel details here.

Schedulecom Liz+ Stevie This COM will will collate ideas for sessions (add yours above) we will fill in the schedule together at the event in traditional unconference style!

Upcoming Barnraisings

Read more on the Barnraising Planning page

Past Barnraisings:

Tags: conferences barnraising list:plots-barnraising