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 balloons and kites to capture aerial imagery. We have completed a four-part set of seasonal imagery from 2011, it is hosted in our archive. Sometimes we use a stereo camera rig to collect infrared imagery in addition to visible imagery. The data documents patterns/concentrations of vegetation or possible contaminants, monitors the stormwater retention design interventions that the GCC is installing along the canal edge, and reveals 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. A thermal fishing bob is being tested for in-water use while being towed by a canoe. Data is collected by a timelapse camera set up on shore.

Additional Sites

Just starting up is a Newtown Creek monitoring project, where the first set of imagery was collected from the Riverkeeper boat during a shoreline infrastructure assessment in summer 2011. (In progress map). Newtown Creek is another 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:
http://grassrootsnewark.wordpress.com/

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 GrassrootsMapping.org.

History

NYC supported the Gulf Coast response to the BP Oil Spill in May 2010. Current and past students of Liz Barry met up outside of class to help with remote logistics such as connecting mappers with boat captains, and figuring out how to get people to specific marinas from which the most vulnerable wetlands could be reached by boat.

The first ever Grassroots Mapping workshop was held in New York City in June 2010 at collab at the Hudson River Piers. Natalie Jeremijenko, Victoria Marshall, and about 6 others attended.