This DIY mapping tool was the first developed by Public Lab, as part of the Grassroots Mapping project. Citizens use helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate high resolution “satellite” maps of areas such as in the Gulf Coast and Gowanus Canal. Although this tool has been in use for two years, components of the kit -- kite and balloon design, the rig, the camera -- continue to evolve as they are adopted in new places and adapted for new purposes. Besides the aerial mapping tools, Public Lab has also developed MapKnitter.org, an online tool for stitching aerial images into maps.
As featured in Chapter 2 of Citizen Science by Caren Cooper.