Public Lab Research note

Public Lab Community Newsletter August 11, 2013

by gonzoearth | August 11, 2013 22:23 11 Aug 22:23 | #8992 | #8992

Fall 2013 Barnraising We are happy to announce that this year's Barnraising theme is Education! You are invited to join the Public Lab community in person as we gather October 4-6 for the third annual Barnraising in Cocodrie, Louisiana. png_base6464523d3b200f336d.png Shown above: Gulf research station LUMCON hosts the Barnraising. In the background, a Barnstar.

What is a Public Lab barn raising, you ask? 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. Find more information here:, including a fantastic video of our 2012 Barnraising. Getting started: Join the discussion on the Barn Raising mailing list: We are exploring the dimensions of the Education theme, what sessions will be important to include, and who wants to present which sessions. There is no charge to attend the conference, please note the cost of lodging at LUMCON is $20/night. RSVP here. (direct link: Oh, and did I mention we go boating and kite flying every afternoon? ;) We aim to make this event accessible to new members and familiar voices alike, please let us know if we can answer any further questions or help you plan for your trip.


Upcoming Events

  • The Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Public Lab, and GLAM are having a stitching Party at 61 Local in Brooklyn, on Monday August 12 at 7:00pm.

  • Public Lab will be at Maker Faire NYC in September; stay tuned for details and get in touch ( if you’d like to help run our booth, or just say hi!

New and ongoing projects with Public Lab tools

  • website is open for business! Still has some rough edges but it looks great and processes larger images now:

  • Several Public Lab organizers have been working with NASA Develop to investigate oil refinery emissions by taking spectra of stack flares with the Public Lab Spectrometer. This is a challenging task which will require more experimentation to learn how to point the spectrometer at a distant flame, capture spectra from a faint source, and separate the background glow from the spectral emission peaks of sulfur, nitrogen compounds, and organic carbons.

  • Chris Fastie has posted two more notes about the July 22 WATERCHESTNUT event in Amherst, MA. These describe continued efforts to use the multispectral aerial photos to identify the invasive aquatic Waterchestnut (Trapa natans). All WATERCHESTNUT notes can be seen here. Chris would also like to scold Dan and Jake, the organizer and host of WATERCHESTNUT, for not yet posting any research notes from the event as they promised to do! Also, did anyone get any photos of the big purple balloon being flown from the canoe? Please share!

  • Jeff Warren has continued the search for small cameras that can become the Infragram Kickstarter reward cameras. Most inexpensive webcams have CMOS sensors with a particular type of Bayer filter that allow near infrared light to contaminate the blue channel, which must be rather pure visible light to make good Infragram photos. Some small CMOS cameras do not have this problem, so Jeff is confident that he will find some good candidates soon.

Research Notes Highlights


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