Balloon Mapping with the PublicLab at UCL!

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) is a community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible “Do-It-Yourself” techniques, Public Laboratory creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

“Balloon mapping is sending a camera up on a balloon, snapping photos, and stitching them into a map.”  A view from above gives you a big picture perspective. Balloon mapping can not only help you get an overview of an area of interest with an air-photo but give you a tool to identify features, collect information and evidence for a citizen science project in environmental protection, social activism, journalism.

Today we had a hands on opportunity to assemble a “balloon sensor”. Our balloon mapping kit included a very large balloon, a helium tank, string, a camera, tape, a plastic bottle (to protect and stabilize the camera), a rubber band and a q-tip (to hold the shooting button on). After our step by step instruction, we let our balloon go up, held by the string and these are some of the pictures we took:

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