Public Lab Wiki documentation

Kite making

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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.


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?

Edit this page to help complete it!

How to get one

more coming soon!

Edit this page to help complete it!


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Building miniature kites at a family science night build - @SuziT9 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Prototyping a kite for kids build - @oscarbrett 3h easy 0 replications: Try it »
call it Delta, maybe build - @astoicof 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
Make a simple mylar/trash bag delta kite - - @warren 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
splitting bamboo for kites build - @mathew 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
easy cut delta kite plans build - @mathew 3h easy 0 replications: Try it »
Repairing a kite's stick with a fiber glass safety marker - - @pablo - - 0 replications: Try it »
Kite Construction: How bad can it get? - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Stormy O. Weathers' Horned Allison- towards a kite wind speed meter - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Easy Kites for Kite Trains build - @mathew - easy 0 replications: Try it »
Tyvek Fleds, Theoretical & Actual Performance - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Towards a Tyvek & Bamboo Delta Kit - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
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