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Public Lab Wiki documentation


This is a revision from July 13, 2015 17:55. View all revisions
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MapMill is the Public Lab tool for sorting imagery produced with balloon mapping.

It takes hours to go through the thousands of images we're capturing from balloons and kites, to pick out the best ones for inclusion in our free and open source maps of the Gulf Coast and beyond. Help us with these projects by choosing the sharpest, clearest, best images.

If you are creating your own maps, MapMill is a great way to offer a more accessible and inclusive first step in the process of turning images into maps. Email the link to your MapMill site to your community, post it on your blog or on Facebook. It's a great lightweight way to keep people engaged after the flight is over, to reach out to a wider group of folks with new opportunities to participate, and to raise public awareness around the subject of your map.

To start using MapMill, contact on the "plots-dev" developers mailing list

Setting up your own local copy of MapMill

These instructions may be out of date. Please ask on the "plots-dev" developers mailing list for more recent instructions.

If you have low bandwidth or don't want to share your map data, you can run MapMill yourself, on your computer. Follow these steps and email plots-dev@googlegroups.com (or join the developers mailing list) with questions or for troubleshooting.

  • Download the Bitnami "native" RubyStack for your computer: http://bitnami.org/stack/rubystack
  • Run the installer.
  • Go to the main Bitnami folder which was just installed, called "rubystack-2.2-2"
  • Download MapMill into the "projects" folder inside "rubystack-2.2-2".
  • From the commandline:
    • go to the main Bitnami folder which was just installed, called "rubystack-2.2-2"
    • type ".rubyconsole"
    • you're now in the local Bitnami ruby shell
    • type "cd projects/mapmill" to get to the mapmill folder
    • type "rake db:migrate"
    • if it runs with no errors, type "script/server"
  • Start uploading and sorting!

To keep in mind:

  • This may run slowly on a small, weak computer like my netbook
  • We'll try to get Passenger installed or something soon so it can be multi-threaded, in the meantime it may only be able to handle one pageload at a time.
  • To connect other computers, find out your IP address (linux/mac: type "ifconfig" and it's the one that looks like 192.x.x.x or something) and any computer on the same local network should be able to use it by going to (or whatever your IP address was plus ":3000".