Public Lab Wiki documentation

New York City

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The New York / New Jersey metropolitan region is home to several projects with many partnering organizations, community groups, and individuals. The image above shows Eymund Diegel, archivist for Proteus Gowanus and Public Laboratory Board Member.

Gowanus Canal Mapping

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy is conducting environmental investigations in the Gowanus Canal sub-watershed by using balloon mapping to capture aerial imagery once per season over the past year. We are also flying a stereo camera rig to collect infrared imagery. These tools help document patterns/concentrations of vegetation or possible contaminants, monitor the stormwater retention design interventions that the GCC is installing along the canal edge, and search for unknown or unidentified pipes or sources of ground water entering the canal. In the long-term, this inquiry effort seeks to address the 300M gallons of untreated sewage that will continue entering the canal yearly even after the EPA finishes their Superfund clean-up of the toxic sediments at the bottom of the canal. Thermal imaging is a newly developed approach to identify where warmer ground water is entering the cool waters of the canal.

Just starting up is a New Town Creek monitoring project, where the first set of imagery was collected from the Riverkeeper boat during a shoreline infrastructure assessment in summer 2011. New Town Creek is also a EPA Superfund site within the five boroughs of NYC.

Another regional project is Grassroots Newark, focused on development and community issues on both sides of the Passaic River:

The New School Geo Club is a newly formed student group that has been active mapping social patterns in Washington Square Park and other sites. Occupy Wall Street events and maps are related to this student group.

An October 2010 workshop was held at Union Square with Parsons The New School for Design, see the blog post on

The first ever Grassroots Mapping workshop was held in New York City in June 2010 at collab and the Hudson River Piers.