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Public Lab Research note

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Collaboratively write the new Pocket Guide to Grassroots Mapping

by warren |

As we gear up for the launch of our new Mini Kite and Balloon Kits, we're looking to revisit, revise, and update one of our most classic collaborative works -- the Guide to Grassroots Mapping with Balloons and Kites.

From early on, this illustrated guide helped get the word out on paper, and long before we began distributing physical kits, we spread this PDF far and wide. It's been translated into over a dozen languages (including Arabic, Spanish, Ukranian, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, and German) adapted, updated, and occasionally Frankensteined into many different versions.

For this campaign, we wanted to take some time to collate and organize the best of these guides into a new, pocket-sized guide. And we'd like to ask all balloon and kite mappers to help out, in a massively collaborative writing project!

image description

Start contributing!

Here's an editable Google Doc of the guide. To keep things simpler for now, we're going to ask people to leave short comments: ideas, corrections, and suggested text -- please break them up into 140 characters max, so we can try to respond to each separately!

To begin editing, open the document here.

And of course, leave comments below if you have questions in general! I'm sure there will be a LOT of things to figure out as we go.

See some of our oldest guides here: (the document above is based on our most recent 2.0 version

In Arabic: image description

In Ukranian:

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And our add-on "Quick start guide":

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balloon-mapping kite-mapping kickstarter grassroots-mapping guide writing booklet mini-kite-kit mini-balloon-kit pocket-guide collaborative-writing

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Saw some great suggestions -- i also added a "wind scale" table riffing on the Beaufort scale, with advice on what to fly in what conditions (types of kites, balloons) and how to estimate the wind speed from things like flags, treetops. But it could use a lot more work!

Thanks for input @cfastie and @xose!!

We're going to try to prepare this at it's current state for the first printing with the AS220 Printshop. I downloaded this as a PDF and Word doc, and am trying to figure out the best way to reformat for booklet:



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