Public Lab Research note

Public Lab community newsletter 4.20.12

by Shannon | April 20, 2012 16:54 20 Apr 16:54 | #1722 | #1722

In an effort to keep the Public Lab community up-to-date on some of the things that are happening off-list, we've decided to being compiling a quick email on Fridays to keep everyone appraised of the top six things the Public Lab community has accomplished in the last week or events in the foreseeable future. If you want to contribute topics, please send your thoughts to me by 5pm on Thursdays. That said, for this week, below are some of the highlights:

  1. Google announcement! Yes, the list has been talking about this for the last week, but if for some reason you missed it, Public Lab released public domain maps onto Google Earth and has been blogged about in a few different publications including Gizmodo and Engadget. For more information, you can read the formal press release or check out the Google Lat Long blog post written by Christiaan Adams from Google Earth Outreach.

  2. You might have noticed in the past week that you either couldn't access pages on the Public Laboratory website, or there were long wait times for pages to load. This was because over the course of three days, the website received over 15,000 unique visits from 143 countries. Jeff Warren wrote a research note to give a recap of server issues and some traffic stats on the site.

  3. Public Lab nonprofit staff got together in Oakland, CA last week for the spring 2012 summit. One of the outcomes is that we've developed a number of different teams to work on longer-term website projects. We're finishing up quick descriptions of each of the projects and will be emailing the list about them next week. Please keep an eye out as we'd love for people to get involved!

  4. EcoHack II starts today! There have been a number of emails out to the list, but just a reminder, if you're in NYC this weekend, come to Parsons where Public Lab is co-hosting the event. Liz Barry and I will be giving an ignite talk tonight about a new in-development project- the air column monitor- built on the aerial mapping tool. Tomorrow, there will be teams working on sensor development, data visualization and creating a nylon casing to shape spherical balloons into a more aerodynamic shape to which we can also attach more tethers. Sunday will be testing day! There are also a number of other great projects that will be worked on by the 120+ participants already signed up.

  5. Public Lab will also be at the Philadelphia Science Festival this weekend. Sara Wylie will be speaking on a panel about science and information around hydraulic fracturing, discussing webtools for community monitoring of the oil and gas industry and the possibility of using Public Lab's grassroots mapping tools to document the expansion frontier of natural gas development in the U.S.

  6. The Public Lab nonprofit team is putting in a couple of EPA grants this week for the NY region. The first is to support the Gowanus Low Altitude Mappers (GLAM) project in partnership with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. On the second grant, Public Lab is working with Cypress Hill local development corporation to start air quality sensing with a local Brooklyn school.

  7. A couple randomly selected research notes to highlight that were added to the Public Lab site this past week: SLO pre-flight (posted by jl) Results: Container Testing for Photopaper Test Strips #1 (posted by Megan) Visible/IR mapping camera process (posted by cfastie) Arthur W. Mears Kite Balloon, archetype for Kingfisher, Skystar? (posted by Mathew) MapKnitter: Kamnolom (map via MapKnitter)


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