Public Lab Research note

Exhibition and Mapping Workshops in Bourj Al Shamali

by firas | March 13, 2017 17:31 13 Mar 17:31 | #14007 | #14007

On 4 -5 February, an exhibition of our balloon mapping project took place in Al Hula

Association in Bourj Al Shamali refugee camp. The exhibition was divided into several

sections with different themes and information.

At the entrance, the exhibition had a small survey for visitors who came to see the

exhibition. The survey asked questions that hoped to make participants reflect on the

importance of a map for them and whether they had ever seen one of the camp.

After that, the exhibition showed the tools we used and how the process goes while of

course displaying pictures of us in action and a sample of what a balloon trip looks like

from the camera perspective.

Then there was a section where we see the time line of the refugee camp and people

were asked to detail key events that happened and that they consider important and

part of our camp history.

Next to this was a big map of the area where they would point to their favorite locations

and the important sites such as associations, mosques, schools, falafel shops, phone


As we wanted visitors to provide feedback on different issues, we also asked the people

to write their suggestions about what the garden our project plans to build should be like.

The exhibition then moves to a section that displays the evolution of maps of our area

from 1946 till what we have today. It also compared a google earth map of the camp to a

portion of our map with photos from the balloon to show the difference in quality and that

ours is more updated since we can see more new buildings today that on google maps

were you can see empty spaces.

Finally we have a special corner to show where people who contributed to our kickstarter

were from. An atlas marked all around the world their locations, and we thank them so

much they really helped us make it happen. I hope they are reading this article too ;)

After that is finished, there is a fun corner where there are areal pictures of different

places in the camp taken by the balloon and we asked people to try to guess where

those places are.

During the exhibition we were able to note how curious people were about how our

mapping works and they were amazed when the saw a portion of the result -- especially

the fact that something that is as simple as a camera hooked to a balloon gives such

results was for many truly is amazing. For me, not only the level of their cooperation and

desire to give their opinion and ideas was truly motivating, especially as we got a lot of

feedback and information that will help us complete the map and future projects. Many

visitors thanked us for our effort which was really pleasing and I consider the outcome of

this exhibition as truly positive, as everyone was happy about the map and learning how

to try to navigate whats where.




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This is amazing, Firas. I really admire the efforts and enthusiasm you put into this project. I am very curious to see the map and learn how the whole project develops. Good luck!

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Firas, this is beautiful and impressive work. Thank you for sharing it -- very inspiring.

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