Tag: public laboratory

by Adam Griffith

Third graders from Isaac Dixon Elementary School in Asheville, N.C., help make a high-resolution map of Riverside Cemetery with the Public Laboratory. As Scott Barnwell looked toward the horizon of Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, N.C., a flock of third graders came into view, and his hand tightened on the string tethering a massive, red helium-filled [...] more »

by Mathew Lippincott

This post compares technologies for aerial photography, but it is also about how tool choices can embed values, including transparency, openness, and accessibility, into the growing popular culture of mapping. Falkirk Young Archaeologists’ Club takes a self portrait from the top of a carp fishing pole. Most map imagery is collected by airplane or satellite [...] more »

by Stewart Long

Public Lab’s balloon- and kite-based mapping approach is a new way to take aerial images from the ground. However, there are some considerations and things that can be learned from a few map stories. Each map project has distinct characteristics in its time, place, and local atmospheric conditions. Here are several examples of how those [...] more »

by Liz Barry

What happens when you introduce biologists who want microbial samples from 500 feet up in the air to the Public Laboratory community of balloon mappers? Or play matchmaker between entomologists with global biodiversity records dating back to the 1700s and data scientists who are jonesing to visualize? How about getting 30 people in a room [...] more »

by Liz Barry

Researchers at Public Laboratory pursue environmental justice creatively, through re-imagining our relationship with the environment. Our model is to rigorously ask oddball questions, then initiate research by designing or adapting locally accessible tools and methods to collect the data we need to answer those questions. We’ve found, perhaps not surprisingly, that innovation in tools and [...] more »

by Adam Griffith

This piece was co-written by Mathew Lippincott. The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science community is a massive petri dish for low-cost science tools. Our balloon-mapping tool is in its mature phase having evolved out of the agar during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This success was due in large part to the [...] more »

by Stewart Long

Last week, Public Laboratory announced that public domain maps are now starting to show up on Google Earth and Google Maps. But how did the projects get there? Here’s a timeline of a Public Laboratory map project. Making a map Public Laboratory projects take a community-based approach to making maps that differs depending on where [...] more »

by Leif Percifield

My arm was up to the elbow in water classified as unfit for human contact. I was staring down a double-barreled shotgun of pipes that release some 90 million gallons of untreated sewage and storm water annually into the very water I was canoeing in. This is the Gowanus Canal, in Brooklyn, N.Y. I was [...] more »

by Shannon Dosemagen

This post was co-authored by Sara Wylie, a a Public Laboratory co-founder. Public Laboratory is an open-source software and hardware development community dedicated to producing low-cost tools for environmental research. The nonprofit portion of Public Lab grew out of using aerial mapping to address the BP Oil Spill. Since then, we’ve grown enormously as a [...] more »

by Jeffrey Warren

Public Laboratory is made up of a diverse group of contributors, some working from their homes or garages, some from their workplaces or even university labs. What brings us together is the idea that open-source, collaborative development can result in inexpensive and accessible environmental sensing. But to many, the way our community operates can be [...] more »