Public Lab Research note

Balloon and Kite Mapping Stories, Part 1

by warren | June 22, 2017 20:25 22 Jun 20:25 | #14572 | #14572

This is a series on #balloon-mapping, as part of our month-long Kickstarter campaign to launch Mini Balloon and Kite Kits:

Wow, we'd first like to thank everyone for our first 2 days -- it's very exciting to be at 33% of our goal so early in the campaign! Special thanks to everyone who's helped with outreach -- as a community project, we depend on your help.

Many people have posted #balloonselfies, which is a fun way to show support, as well as a great way to help spread the word about the amazing work our community has done with balloons and kites over the past 7 years.

In that vein, we're going to be highlighting the stories and work of dozens of people using Public Lab tools around the world as the campaign progresses.

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Flood Mapping in Jakarta

Jakarta is flooding and it happens every year.

Willie Shubert (@Willie) works with a network of environmental journalists and they make maps:

We sourced flooding data from local disaster response agency. The flood looks like this.

So we knew where to go and headed out with a kite and a gopro hero 3 to try and make a map. We ended up with some cool pictures.

Read more at:

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All the Shingle Ladies

This group of students at the Thacher School in California used aerial mapping to look at roof conditions:

There's no place like home right? If that's the case, then it's important to make sure that our homes are working and functioning properly; which is why we wanted to use aerial mapping techniques to find out if there was something wrong with the rooftops of the dorms at the Thacher School. After living at Thacher for three years, we are all aware of general information regarding each dorm, and we have lived in three out of the six dorms. Before starting this experiment, we suspected that the older dorms were potentially more vulnerable to water leakage and/or other complications.

Read more about Clare, Helena, Pria and Zoe's AP environmental science project here:

Community stormwater research

This group in New Orleans (also lead image, both by @stevie) made maps of areas affected by stormwater runoff, as part of an ongoing series of community workshops on stormwater. image description

The goal of this event was to both learn about mapping and also capture aerial and ground survey images of the study sites. We will use these in the next workshop where we'll be working on a study design for our questions. We started the event by revisiting the research questions from the first workshop. Those are:

1. How long does water stay standing in an area?

2. How much rain does it take to flood?

Read more about their work at:

Send us your stories!

We're looking for more stories -- and great images -- to highlight, so please tweet out a picture and tell your story -- and mention @PublicLab!


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