Public Lab Research note

Host a balloon mapping workshop

by liz | March 15, 2017 14:25 15 Mar 14:25 | #14022 | #14022

Want to show others how to make balloon or kite maps? Need help mapping a large site or doing long-term mapping? Want to start a local group of balloon mappers? Great! FYI, this activity has been updated from a previous research note of the same name.

We can use the comments below to exchange advice on how to organize and run a balloon mapping workshop, and keep this updated.

First steps

  • Get the word out! * Compile a list of emails of local interested people. Write everybody to say hello and suggest using one of the email lists. Also reach out over Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Figure out a good day (preferably morning for low wind) to meet. (try using a Doodle), and then post a clear event with date/time/location, etc.
  • Ask people what equipment they can bring: not just balloon mapping gear but cameras, gps, maps. If you're mapping on the water, ask if anyone has a boat!
  • Review the balloon mapping page and links and be sure you have all the supplies you need
    • Helium may require ordering more than one day in advance.
  • How many people can you teach at a workshop? A good rule of thumb is 4-6 people per mapping kit, each group should also have at least one person who's mapped before.

The night before

Workshop day

  • If you are the organizer, arrive early to the meeting spot!
  • Hand around a notepad to sign newcomers up on the mailing list
  • Some people like to start by showing MapKnitter so that participants know how the images will be processed ahead of time. Sometimes by the end of the day everyone's too tired to break out a laptop and start stitching images.
  • Bring and fill out a Flight Log entry with field notes and key data about your mapping site


  • Be sure to upload and share the best of the images freely (i.e. under an open license) with your new colleagues. Contact to find a place to host them on the Public Lab site (like

I did this Help out by offering feedback! Browse other activities for "aerial-photography"

People who did this (37)

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
playaround 2018 - Taipei | Off Ground - Fly High @dusjagr almost 3 years ago 0
Ballon mapping workshop - University A Coruña @imvec about 4 years ago 0
A balloon mapping event at MPavilion (Melbourne, Australia) @AssemblePapers almost 5 years ago 3
Taller de fotografía aérea en Madrid @pablo almost 6 years ago 0
DIY aerial photography: Kite-mapping workshop in London, UK @cindy_excites about 6 years ago 2
Prince George Mapping Workshop @ann over 6 years ago 12
Sweetwater Festival Mapping Workshop @ann over 6 years ago 0
June Mapping Picnic @stevie over 6 years ago 2
New Orleans City Park Mapping @stevie over 6 years ago 5
Bayou Bienvenue Mapping! @stevie over 6 years ago 3
Prince Rupert Workshop: DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping @ann over 6 years ago 0
Smithers Workshop: DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping @ann over 6 years ago 0
Newtown Creek Workshop with Balloon Photography @nameiswillis over 6 years ago 2
Talleres de Fotografía de bajo coste desde el aire en Madrid @pablo over 6 years ago 2
Vadi HaAsbestonim: Community Aerial Photography Event @hagitkeysar almost 7 years ago 3
Edmonton Balloon and Kite Mapping Workshop @ann almost 7 years ago 3
Taller de fotos con globo en Barcelona @pablo almost 7 years ago 2
Sneak Peak Balloon/Kite Photography Event @nicholas about 7 years ago 1
New Orleans Training Event! @stevie about 7 years ago 3
Philadelphia Night Market Balloon Flight @seankmcginnis about 7 years ago 0
Youth Balloon Mapping Workshop Complete! @mjain26 about 7 years ago 2
Kite Mapping on the Kill Van Kull @melissachecker over 7 years ago 1
Earth Journalism Network Kite Mapping Workshop @willie over 7 years ago 3
Kite mapping in Far Rockaway, Queens @jenmansta over 7 years ago 3
Union Square MBTA Mapping @kgradow1 over 7 years ago 2
Mapping with balloons in Castellón and building community (results) @pablo over 7 years ago 13
Public Mapping Mission - Newtown Creek @nicholas almost 8 years ago 3
Public Mapping Mission @nicholas almost 8 years ago 0
Balloon Mapping Presentation & Demonstration - Burlington County GIS Day @seankmcginnis almost 8 years ago 0
Rulers Bar Island Wetland mapping @gwirth almost 8 years ago 0
Public Lab NorCal Meet Up - Cloverleaf Farmstand, Davis, CA @MicheleTobias over 8 years ago 1
Kite Club Pontchartrain @eustatic over 8 years ago 0
Aerial Mapping workshop Triennale Milano @Costantino over 8 years ago 0
Public Lab NorCal Meetup Fort Mason San Francisco CA @patcoyle over 8 years ago 0
June 2 Science Hack Day NYC: balloon mapping workshop @liz over 8 years ago 0
May 4th Pier 42 Balloon Mapping! @veroacosta over 8 years ago 0
DIY Aerial Imaging + Map Knitting workshop at Pratt Institute @Pratt_GI over 8 years ago 0
Show more


Login to comment.