Maps open data from balloon and kite photography (326 and counting)


Do-It-Yourself "satellite" imagery

These maps were largely made by taking photos from balloons and kites, a technique adopted and refined by Public Lab contributors. Make one yourself and it can be featured here.


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oil-spill wetlands landfill garden NDVI gowanus protest


A grassroots data archive

This archive represents the collective work of our community to provide an alternative source for aerial imagery, and to highlight issues of environmental and social concern with Do-It-Yourself tools. The archive provides:

  • A permanent, backed up archive
  • A place to advocate around your data
  • A space to discuss and understand the maps

How to contribute

Most of the maps in this archive were made in MapKnitter, a free and open source tool created by Public Lab contributors to turn aerial photos into maps.

To add your open source map to the archive, contact staff@publiclab.org and be prepared to provide some background and to tell the story of your map. Creative Commons and Public Domain maps are both accepted.




SFSU San Francisco, California.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0

Map pf the SFSU student union and quad from a Public Lab workshop at SFSU.


Roanoke College, salem, Virginia.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0

This is a demonstration map for Dr. O'Neill's GIS class. Spring 2013.


University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0

First attempt at MapKnitter, using aerials from a low-altitude balloon on a windy day.


La Laguna de Villayuste, León, Spain.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0



Humane Alliance. Hilton Head, South Carolina.

| about 5 years ago | 0 | 0

Balloon mapped this area because it is susceptible to sea-level rise.






Kronshagen, Germany

| over 3 years ago | 0 | 0


Oaks Business Park. Livermore, California.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0

Livermore CA test flight: With repaired Delta spar pocket, dual A1200s in bottle-bottom rig, Digi...


Planyrka. Brno, Czech Republic.

| over 3 years ago | 0 | 0




Open Source GIS Meetup. Nødebo, Denmark.

| about 4 years ago | 0 | 0

43 students from 15 countries are joining a course in GIS using OpenSource. We had a small helic...


Troparevo. Moscow, Russia.

| almost 4 years ago | 0 | 0


PAU del Ensanche de Vallecas. Madrid, Spain.

| over 3 years ago | 1 | 0

Ruinas en un PAU (Plan de Actuación Urbanística) del Ensanche de Vallecas en Madrid, Spain. Grou...


Monteith Farmstead and Community Park. Dillsboro, North Carolina

| over 3 years ago | 0 | 0

The map is constructed of photographs that were provided by the Swain High School Environmentally...



Orchid Hill. Charlotte, North Carolina.

| about 3 years ago | 0 | 0

Balloon Mapping Project


ACE Vasco Train Station. Livermore, California.

| over 3 years ago | 0 | 2

ACE Vasco Road Train Station: First test flight with a used Canon SX260HS with built-in gps, runn...