Public Lab Research note

Balloon mapping workshop in Castellón (Spain): opening a local chapter

by pablo | January 10, 2014 09:58 10 Jan 09:58 | #9935 | #9935

What we want to do

We are starting this project as part of an exhibition in Castellón (Spain) in the EACC (Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló). At Basurama we want to continue with the 6,000km mapping project and use the Public Lab techniques for aerial mapping. A workshop is a good format to engage with the local community and build a community of users/teachers. It could be a good beginning to start a Spanish Public Lab local chapter. We will start using the mailing list in Spanish, that was initially used in Perú.

We've got in touch with different local environmental organizations to decide which places (landfills, abandoned residential areas) we should map togethere. A list of posssible locations is available for participation. We want to support local struggles that are already engaged with the defendse of the territory. Castellón region is a good example in Spain of the results of the real estate bubble.

The kite and balloon mapping kits will be available for the participants of the workshop during the following months. You can check all the information related to the project.


We've been before in the region making photos of 2 important places regarding territory destruction: a huge residential complex "Marina d'Or" and an empty airport. A

What will be in the exhibiton? The balloon mapping kit + maps produced in the workshop + previous maps: Ash landfill in Saugus (Boston) and Ruins in the outskirts of Madrid (Vallecas) + workshop documentation.

Background of the project: 6,000km

6,000km is a documentation project devoted to research into cities’ metabolism, making visible certain hidden landscapes related to production, consume and waste. Through a series of panorama photographs, data an text, the project seeks to show specific spaces where waste is produced, handled and manipulated. Apart from the obvious ones —such as landfills and scrapyards— transport infrastructures and new models of urbanization are studied.


The project has focused its research in the effects of the real estate bubble in Spain. The last economic expansion period experienced in Spain has increased the use, and miss-use, of land. The research “landscapes after the battle” focuses on the post real estate boom, and its effects over the territory. Check a review in English of the project.

Next steps

We are now deciding which locations to map in the 3 days workshop (Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2014). We are planning to spend Friday evening with theory (plus a mapknitting class) and the rest of the weekend ballon/kite mapping. We will try to fit a mapknitting session on Sunday evening, but maybe there is no time enough fo that! Do you have other examples of this kind of workshops trying to open local chapters?

Images by Basurama CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.


Hi Pablo, sounds great and your poster looks lovely... regarding your last question, from my experience you need at least 3 hours in good weather conditions to be able to practice building a rig + fly a balloon/kite + download and make a short demonstration of knitting. If you want to do multiple flights and have people actually knit the whole map together during the workshop you have to calculate a lot more time cause the knitting takes the longest time usually. and not everyone like to knit... most people like to fly a ballloon or a kite though :)

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Very exciting! If you want to make a chapter page, just tag it with "chapter" and lat:00.000 and lon:00.000 (with the right lat/lon of course) and it'll show up on the places page:

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