Public Lab Research note

Public Lab community newsletter 6.15.12

by Shannon | June 15, 2012 20:31 15 Jun 20:31 | #2502 | #2502

There is so much going on in the Public Lab community this week that I'm having trouble keeping up! In the next week, catch mappings and workshops in the Bay area, New York and New Jersey, get excited for a kite building workshop in early July as well as for the upcoming issue of the Grassroots Mapping Forum featuring a map of the Chandeleur Islands from the early days of the BP oil spill. New in notes this week, there is an intriguing line-up that includes sketches for a thermal flashlight power ring, a mobile version of the spectral workbench, comparison notes from aerial and ground mapping as well as 3D imaging from Louisiana's Big Branch NWR, and updated notes for the in-development air column monitor. Enjoy!

  1. Mapping in the Bay area (Cali) tomorrow. Bobby Sudekum sent a message out this past week about heading to Alta Plaza Park tomorrow (6/16) at 1pm to do an aerial mapping. Everyone is welcome to join, he'll be bringing the equipment, but bring a camera if you have one. If you need to get ahold of him beforehand, email

  2. EPA Citizen Science Workshops. Join us in downtown New York on June 19 for the EPA Citizen Science Workshop. We’ll be presenting on aerial mapping in relation to understanding and improving water quality in urban environments. A reprise of the workshop happens in New Jersey on June 20. Both days will have aerial mapping demos! For all community members -- if you would like to run the demo at either location, drop a line to

  3. Hey NYC kite enthusiasts! Public Lab will be holding a workshop with the goal of eliminating the need for helium altogether! We’re going to be building low-wind kites, and designing, testing, and constructing a series of kite trains. Join the big buildout on Sunday July 1 to fly the kites and see if we can lift cameras with a series of small kites all on the same line. Meet at 630 Flushing Ave at 11AM, walk around to the back of the giant Pfizer building and find us. Bring a bag lunch and we’ll have some snacks too. Contact for more information.

  4. North Carolina mapping trips. Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center students mapped a campus in Cherokee, NC with Western Carolina University (WCU) equipment and aerial mapping techniques. To check out maps that are being stitched, search OJCCCC in MapKnitter. WCU students and an intern from Duke University mapped a community garden in Sylva, NC as well.

  5. Development of ImageJ macro. Public Lab community members, Ned Horning and Chris Fastie have been working on developing ImageJ macro. You can keep up with the development of the project which is an essential part of the Public Lab IR camera tool. Everyone is welcome to try it out and report any problems at Github. To run the macro you can install the free Fiji environment which runs ImageJ in a friendly GUI. If you are interested in contributing to programming on this project, please get in touch with Ned through Github.

  6. Ecosynth, Heralds of Crisis and Public Participation in Scientific Research. This past week, Jeff Warren participated in EcoSynth in Baltimore. EcoSynth is an NSF funded project for 3D mapping of forests. Sara Wylie traveled to Paris to partake in a small gathering between US and French social scientists called Heralds of Crisis: Ecological Risks and the Role of Sentinels. Shannon Dosemagen has been asked to participate in a steering committee that will brainstorm the advancement of the field of citizen science, more formally being referred to as Public Participation in Scientific Research. The first meeting will convene in Portland this upcoming August.

  7. Grassroots Mapping Forum #2 coming soon! The Forum continues to come together, and contributors are plugging away on their sections: Chris Fastie and Jeff Warren are working to make a print introduction to their fantastic explanations and instructions of NDVI with dual camera sets. Amie Stepanovich, Cameron Hunt, Coby Leuschke, Mathew Lippincott, and Raymond Cha have done a discussion and transcription on Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS) ethics and are editing it down into a condensed dialogue hitting on issues of image acquisition, data privacy, transparency, and public participation in this hot-button issue. The project grew out of this red-hot thread on the mailing list. Shannon Dosemagen interviewed Scott Eustis, Coastal Wetlands Specialist with the Gulf Restoration Network on the importance of wetlands and barrier islands for the ecological health and protection of Louisiana.

  8. And of course, research notes-- another week of really incredible contributions! Thermal flashlight as power ring (posted by Mathew) Lincoln Park Vineyard (posted by cfastie) 3D images: Big Branch balloon mapping (posted by astoicof) Mobile (Android) version of spectral workbench (posted by warren) Point Platte Marsh restoration over time: air vs. ground (posted by eustatic) Easy kites for kite trains (posted by Mathew) Air column quality and wind sensor and air column monitor components (posted by shannon)

Great week everyone! As always, if we missed anything, please email to the list, post a research note or email for inclusion in the newsletter next Friday. Have a great weekend, Shannon

P.S. congrats to the OpenIR team who just announced that they won $7,500 in the MIT IDEAS Competition, we're excited to watch this project grow and see collaborations form!


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