GeoPhilly's Balloon Mapping Launch: A Philly Tech Week Event

GeoPhilly's Balloon Mapping Launch: A Philly Tech Week Event

GeoPhilly, Philadelphia’s meetup group that unites developers, geographers, data geeks, open source enthusiasts, civic hackers, and map addicts in our shared love of maps and the facts they visualize and stories they tell has expanded to over 600 members in just one and a half years.  For the 2nd year in a row, we are pleased to host an event during Philly Tech Week 2015, Philadelphia’s annual festival celebrating technology and engagement organized by Technically Philly.

Join us for a Balloon Mapping Launch Wednesday, April 22nd at Penns Landing ($5)! Balloon mapping is a low-cost, easy, and safe way to capture aerial images and stitch them together to make high resolution maps. This grassroots technique has been used by journalists and community groups all over the world. One of the most interesting balloon mapping projects involved capturing images of the damage caused by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

First, we will be meeting on the Delaware River Waterfront (in front of the Independence Seaport Museum facing the water) to launch our balloon and camera kits and collect our aerial imagery. This workshop will be outdoors in the city, so please dress accordingly with the weather.  (If severe rain or wind occur, we will have a rain date on Thursday April 23rd).

This meetup has a second evening part on the day of the launch where you can help to stitch together the photos taken from the morning or build your own camera rig. You don’t need to attend both events, but if you’d like to, you will need RSVP for both. RSVP for the second event here. Browse stitched photos at the Public Labs archive.

You might remember the last balloon mapping workshop organized by Hacks/Hackers meetup group during Philly Tech Week 2 years ago. Read more about balloon mapping and example uses on The Public Laboratory’s website. To get a feel for what comes out of a balloon launch, take a look at what Sean McGinnis (posts and events) and Dana Bauer (images/video) have done in past years.

Photos below by Dana Bauer from 2013 PTW Balloon Launch