Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography, the grassroots mappers use helium balloons and kites to loft their own “community satellites” made with inexpensive digital cameras. The resulting images are georeferenced and stitched into maps which are 100x higher resolution than those offered by Google, at extremely low cost.

This session examines the field mapping setup, and trains Louisiana volunteers to follow the same model. Grassroots Mapping hopes to use this technology to document the effects of the gulf Oil Spill. The focus is not on signing up a zillion people (yet!), but in finding local mapping leaders, who can organize teams of volunteers to go out to beaches and coasts to map the spill.

Check out:

grassrootsmapping.org/volunteer/
grassrootsmapping.org/gulf-oil-spill/
labucketbrigade.org/

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