Grassroots mapping wiki

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grassrootsmapping-small.png Grassroots mapping wiki
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Status: Active
Language: English
Edit mode: OpenEdit
Wiki engine: Instiki
Main topic: map


Grassroots Mapping is a series of participatory mapping projects involving communities in cartographic dispute. Jeffrey Warren of the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT Media Lab has built a global community of mappers who are engaged in civic issues, who produce maps with children and adults from several communities in Lima and elsewhere.

These mappers have also created high-resolution aerial imagery of the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All the imagery from this project is being released into the public domain.

Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography, the grassroots mappers used helium balloons and kites to loft their own "community satellites" made with inexpensive cameras. The resulting images, which are owned by the residents, are georeferenced and stitched into maps which are 100x higher resolution that those offered by Google, at extremely low cost. In some cases these maps may be used to support residents’ claims to land title.

The Grassroots mapping wiki is a place to discuss the "One Satellite Per Child" project and other grassroots mapping projects, and a place to document tips for building a system necessary to make such maps -- tips for selecting the parts the go in the sky (balloons, kites, and balloon-kites, and the hardware attached to them), and also the parts that stay on the ground (helium tanks, computer software, etc) -- tips for assembling all the parts, flying tips, etc.

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