Public Lab Research note

Host a balloon mapping workshop

by liz | March 15, 2017 14:25 | 420 views | 0 comments | #14022 | 420 views | 0 comments | #14022 15 Mar 14:25

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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
playaround 2018 - Taipei | Off Ground - Fly High @dusjagr 11 months ago
Ballon mapping workshop - University A Coruña @imvec about 2 years ago
A balloon mapping event at MPavilion (Melbourne, Australia) @AssemblePapers almost 3 years ago
Taller de fotografía aérea en Madrid @pablo almost 4 years ago
DIY aerial photography: Kite-mapping workshop in London, UK @cindy_excites about 4 years ago
Prince George Mapping Workshop @ann over 4 years ago
Sweetwater Festival Mapping Workshop @ann over 4 years ago
June Mapping Picnic @stevie over 4 years ago
New Orleans City Park Mapping @stevie over 4 years ago
Bayou Bienvenue Mapping! @stevie over 4 years ago
Prince Rupert Workshop: DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping @ann over 4 years ago
Smithers Workshop: DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping @ann over 4 years ago
Newtown Creek Workshop with Balloon Photography @nameiswillis over 4 years ago
Talleres de Fotografía de bajo coste desde el aire en Madrid @pablo over 4 years ago
Vadi HaAsbestonim: Community Aerial Photography Event @hagitkeysar almost 5 years ago
Edmonton Balloon and Kite Mapping Workshop @ann almost 5 years ago
Taller de fotos con globo en Barcelona @pablo almost 5 years ago
Sneak Peak Balloon/Kite Photography Event @nicholas about 5 years ago
New Orleans Training Event! @stevie about 5 years ago
Philadelphia Night Market Balloon Flight @seankmcginnis about 5 years ago
Youth Balloon Mapping Workshop Complete! @mjain26 about 5 years ago
Kite Mapping on the Kill Van Kull @melissachecker about 5 years ago
Earth Journalism Network Kite Mapping Workshop @willie over 5 years ago
Kite mapping in Far Rockaway, Queens @jenmansta over 5 years ago
Union Square MBTA Mapping @kgradow1 over 5 years ago
Mapping with balloons in Castellón and building community (results) @pablo over 5 years ago
Public Mapping Mission - Newtown Creek @nicholas almost 6 years ago
Public Mapping Mission @nicholas almost 6 years ago
Balloon Mapping Presentation & Demonstration - Burlington County GIS Day @seankmcginnis almost 6 years ago
Rulers Bar Island Wetland mapping @gwirth almost 6 years ago
Public Lab NorCal Meet Up - Cloverleaf Farmstand, Davis, CA @MicheleTobias over 6 years ago
Kite Club Pontchartrain @eustatic over 6 years ago
Aerial Mapping workshop Triennale Milano @Costantino over 6 years ago
Public Lab NorCal Meetup Fort Mason San Francisco CA @patcoyle over 6 years ago
June 2 Science Hack Day NYC: balloon mapping workshop @liz over 6 years ago
May 4th Pier 42 Balloon Mapping! @veroacosta over 6 years ago
DIY Aerial Imaging + Map Knitting workshop at Pratt Institute @Pratt_GI over 6 years ago
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