Public Lab Research note

Sunday 4.6.2014 -- Toolshed Raising

by kgradow1 | March 26, 2014 01:49 26 Mar 01:49 | #10226 | #10226


Rain date: Sunday April 6, 12-4pm

Meeting place for balloon mapping Ricky's Flower Market 238 Washington Street Somerville MA 02143

Post-mapping meetup and mapknitting party Parts & Crafts 577 Somerville Ave Somerville, MA, 02143

Mapping starts at noon! Ricky's Flower Market has graciously agreed to host us, woot! Parking is available across the street @ SCATV. The plan is to be out for two hours or so, then head back to Parts and Crafts for image processing and mapstitching. The weather report is predicting a 100% chance of torrential rain -- if that happens we'll punt it to the following weekend.

Cross your fingers for good weather!

RSVP here


What is it?

A full day of balloon mapping this Sunday at Parts and Crafts!

What's a toolshed raising? A series of local meetups (this set in Somerville MA) featuring short presentations, open working time, and workshops on Public Lab projects and anything related. This month the focus will be on aerial photography with the goal of mapping out the proposed Union Square MBTA site on Somerville Ave.

All the facts! (plus some questions)

My hope is that we can get some great pictures of the proposed lot allocations for the Union Square MBTA site for before-and-after comparison. This map shows the seven possible development lots, as well as the future site for the MBTA station. This article has a pretty solid overview of the proposed redevelopment plan, as well as timelines for when they're supposed to start building.

Questions to get the ball rolling!

  • For mapping, do people want to meet at Parts and Crafts and walk to Union or meet in the square? I'm trying to find an abutter who will let us park ourselves on their property, but we could also locate ourselves in one of the parking lots.
  • I'd love to do a mapknitter demo for people who haven't used it yet! If someone is interested in taking point on this, awesome! We'll muddle through either way. I'm hoping we can do at least a little bit of this in the afternoon. If you have a laptop, bring it along!
  • Jeff had mentioned working on the Tidmarsh Farm photoset. Our plan was to have open hacking back at the space, so if you're interested in working on this, by all means, bring your laptops and friends and we'll see how far we get!
  • What's the word on local helium supplies? We've been getting it from Party City (no luck with airgas) but if there are other suppliers that have opened up in the last couple of months it'd be great to know about them. I'm going to pick up helium on Friday. There's a shortage of wide open space, so I was planning to go with balloons rather than kites.
  • Other stuff I'm forgetting? If people have other projects they want to work on we can look into sourcing materials on Friday. We'll also have folks at P&C to get people situated and set up with workspace.

Stuff you should know about our space

  • Parking is available in the large lot across the street or directly in front of our building. Please do not park in the large driveway to the right of our building -- it belongs to our down-the-street neighbors
  • We have a dog! He's very friendly, and will likely sleep on the couch the whole time, but might also jump up on you and try to persuade you to chase him around the space. We try to discourage this.
  • Kids are welcome to join --- P&C is a workshop space for kids so there will be plenty for them to do.

Cool! I'm excited. We'll plan for pizza around 2:30. Cross your fingers for good weather, hope you can make it out!

All best,



This looks like a perfect topic to bring to the first "TransportationCamp-New England" coming up at MIT on April 5th! If you haven't already, check out the event page at- and make sure to mention this project in the ideas page-

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