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Mailing lists

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Much of the Public Lab community's discussion and collaboration happens on our mailing lists. Join one today to get involved, ask a question, or find a collaborator!

publiclaboratory - the main place for discussions, ideas & news; if in doubt, post here!

(since 2010, now >7,000 members)

laboratoriopublico - la lista de correo en castellano

(since 2010)

Public Lab - Português - lista de discussão em português

(since 2014)

Public Lab China Use the WeChat app to scan this barcode and join the group:


Discussions and questions about tools, hardware and software development, field techniques, real world and educational applications. If you don't see what you are interested in, visit the tags page.

grassrootsmapping - the place to discuss everything about balloon, kite, and low aerial pole-mapping. (since 2010)

plots-spectrometry - spectrometry and spectral analysis discussions. (since 2012, now >1000 members)

plots-infrared - near-infrared imaging and vegetation monitoring discussions. (since 2013)

plots-waterquality - water quality discussions, including thermal fishing, "the riffle", and the potentiostat. (started ~ Oct 13 2013)

plots-airquality - discussion list for air quality related topics. Was started for a project with EPA and is now open to all. (since summer 2012)

plots-dev - group for people interested in conceptualizing and testing new web infrastructure for Public Lab, also the location for developers discussing detailed code-related topics. (Since late October 2013)

Google Summer of Code - a logistically-oriented discussion group for Public Lab's Google Summer of Code program.

Barnraising! - for folks attending and collaborating in person at the Public Lab barnraising.

Topic lists that are currently inactive can be found here


Connect with other Public Labbers in your area, announce/coordinate local events and meetups, borrow equipment, and ask for local help.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: plots-amsterdam

Baltimore and Washington, DC: plots-baltimore-dc

Boston metro area: plots-boston ~175 members

Butte, Montana: plots-butte

Chicago metro area: public-lab-chicago Since February 2014

The Gulf Coast: plots-gulfcoast - Serving the New Orleans metro area and the entire Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida! Public Lab's core geographic community with over 300 members.

Jerusalem: publiclab-jerusalem

Northeast US: plots-northeast The northeastern United States.

Northern California: plots-norcal The Bay Area and beyond, ~100 members, lots of aerial mapping.

Los Angeles metro area: publiclab-la - Serving Los Angeles & Southern California, formed in January 2014.

Midwest, US/Canada: publiclab-midwest - midwestern region of United States and Canada, since April 2014

Mountain West, US/Canada: publiclab-mountainwest - September, 2016.

New York City metro area: plots-nyc >200 members. Includes New Jersey, Connecticut!

Philadelphia metro area: plots-philadelphia

Providence, Rhode Island: plots-providence

Skane, Sweden: plots-skane

Southeast, US: plots-southeast - broad regional list for Appalachia & down east.

Vancouver, BC: public-lab-vancouver

The Northwest: public-lab-northwest - Serving Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta

Don't see your area listed here but want to find out if there are any folks nearby? Email

Working Groups

Working Groups (WGs) preform vital support functions for the Public Lab ecosystem. Most WGs are open by nomination only, so if you are interested in contributing, read the description of each group to learn how to get involved. - Public Lab organizers are community members who are leaders in the Public Lab community, and have an interest in the way our community collaborates and grows. Visit the Organizers Wiki Page to learn about how to nominate yourself. - the web working group, focused on support of existing users of the Public Lab website, our browser-based software, and spam moderation. Email the WebWG if you would like to become a moderator of this website. - the moderators group supports online and in person interactions, and manages the guidelines: To become a moderator, email


We are recording the growth of these lists over time on this spreadsheet and graphing the results here to track community growth. (You can also see activity over time on the Google Groups about pages)


Public Lab's full moderation policy is located at, the portion regarding mailing lists is included here:

Please treat our mailing lists as a place of respectful conversation. Our lists have moderators to ensure civility. Moderators review the posts of all new members before approving them to post automatically. Some existing members may be placed into moderation if their posting pattern changes such that it violates our list guidelines (see below):

When posting to Public Lab lists:

    1) Stay on topic
    - stay on topic to make long threads easier to follow
    - if you diverge from the main thread/topic/subject, consider breaking off into a new thread/topic/subject to help others follow along
    - avoid sending one-line spurious responses that effectively "spam" hundreds of people and lowers the overall content quality of a conversation

    2) Use clear subject lines when starting a new topic
    - Subject lines are not the place for humor or euphemisms, although enthusiasm is OK.

    3) Mind your tone
    - since we are in a conversation in email form, maintaining a tone of respect is essential. Any of the following can result in a member having their posts moderated before going out to the whole list: aggressive tone, disrespectful tone, mocking tone, off-color tone
    - a note on humor: expressing ourselves online in text is different from expressing ourselves in person by talking

Before you are placed into moderation, you will be notified on the pertinent list.

List management

As the # of topical/local lists grows, some consistency in spam handling, joining policy, and naming will be very helpful. Also, we want to just be careful not to let research-related conversations fragment. To this end, each smaller list has at least one moderator responsible for moving conversations to the appropriate list and "bumping up" topics of general interest by saying "Wow! Please take this extremely interesting conversation to the main publiclaboratory list!"

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