Public Lab is an open community which collaboratively develops accessible, open source, Do-It-Yourself technologies for investigating local environmental health and justice issues.
If you can't get balloons, helium, or if it's just too windy (more than about 5mph or 10kph wind) for #balloon-mapping, consider lifting a camera up on a kite. Kites are cheap and available through most of the world, and they're easy to build if you can't find one big enough.
(lead image by @elainechoi89 [here](/n/2715))
You can make a really big kite for just a few dollars in materials -- anywhere in the world! You don't need to buy or waste helium, and kite makers are everywhere -- kids are especially good at it.
It's a fun activity, and flying kites over and over is free, unlike using balloons!
Most kites need at least 5-10mph (10-15kph) wind, unless you use a design for very light winds -- and most need a bit more to carry a 200g camera very high.
Kites that are very efficiently designed can fly at a high angle -- more vertically. But if yours has lots of drag, it may fly at a lower angle -- more diagonally from the ground.
You need wind.
### Design constraints
Kites can be designed for many purposes, but some things to balance are:
* cost and local availability of materials
* time/complexity of construction
* portability when not flying (does it fit in a car? a plane?)
* light-wind flying qualities
* heavy-wind flying qualities
* overall size and lifting ability
### Where do conversations happen
The **grassrootsmapping** list -- subscribe in the left-side column!
### About the data
* What types of data does the method produce (visual, numeric, graphs, charts)
* How to access the data, where is it kept, maintained, accessed, who can get it
* How does the data compare to other commercial methods or governmentally recognized methods?
## Updates on kite making
Lots has been published on this site about kite making over the years; some of this may be [adaptable into activities](/notes/liz/08-30-2016/check-out-these-activity-grids) to be listed above: