Public Lab Wiki documentation


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The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) is a community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible “Do-It-Yourself” techniques, Public Laboratory creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

The core PLOTS program is focused on “civic science” in which we research open source hardware and software tools and methods to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health. Our goal is to increase the ability of underserved communities to identify, redress, remediate, and create awareness and accountability around environmental concerns. PLOTS achieves this by providing online and offline training, education and support, and by focusing on locally-relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.

Download a PDF overview of Public Laboratory's work here: public-laboratory-overview-11-22-11.pdf

Join now at:

We're developing new tools in the spirit of Grassroots Mapping, meaning:

  • low cost
  • data legibility (including a preference for maps and other rich visual means of representation)
  • ease of use/low barrier to entry
  • public participation
  • high quality, environmentally and socially relevant data
  • creative reuse of consumer technology
  • open source and user modifiable design

Useful pages

Who We Are

PLOTS is a growing community that is open for all to join. However, there are eight staff and three board members that support this community.

Support for PLOTS

PLOTS is made possible with support from the Knight Foundation, via the Knight News Challenge.


PLOTS received generous early support from MIT's Center for Civic Media


Contact PLOTS Staff

The best way to get in touch is by emailing our staff list at If you are trying to reach a particular staff member, please visit the PLOTS Staff page. We also receive mail at:

Public Laboratory P.O. Box 426113 Cambridge, MA 02142

You can also call us at: 504-358-0647 or fax us at: 504-324-0401