The GLAM, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and Public Lab met on 8/13 to update and identify the goals for the upcoming Gowanus Low Altitude Mapping days in September
Here are Phil Silva's notes from the resulting discussion:
Overarching Goals for Aerial Image-Making: 1. Enforcing environmental regulations 2. Discovering good/best environmental management practices 3. Advocating for changes in policy and management 4. Educating and reaching out to community members and a wider audience 5. Promoting GCC work and other forms of "media impact" 6. Conducting primary environmental research in the canal watershed 7. Developing and improving open-source environmental sensing technology
Some research questions that result from these goals: 1. What is the dynamic economic/social/natural history of the canal and how is it evolving in the here and now? 2. What are the actual point-sources of what currently gets filed as "non-point source" pollution? 3. What new opportunities are there for planting, green space, and open space in the watershed? 4. How do environmental and engineering dynamics in the upland area of the watershed impact the canal? 5. What plant can survive in existing urban conditions? What plants have shown themselves to be adaptable with little human stewardship? 6. Which environmental restoration/design/stewardship actions are "working"—and which aren't? 7. What are the plant succession dynamics around the 2nd Avenue Salt Lot?
Our main data collection strategy for answering these questions is, of course, balloon aerial image-making and mapping. Our data analysis strategies for any of these questions were not defined in our conversation. The temptation is to say "we will look at the map and find our answers," but I'd suggest that, for any of these questions, we should have a rubric or guideline for structuring that visual analysis.
Stay tuned for the dates and more information to come on the next GLAM event!