This weekend i have been attending the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science’s (Public Lab) barnraising event at the LUMCON, a marine research venue located in Cocodrie, Louisiana. During three days members of the community got together to share their knowledge, run workshops, discuss, and geek out on environmental science. The variety of Public Lab activities embraced the values of the community such as collaboration, curiosity, creativity, and openness.
The whole schedule was organized as an open un-conference in which all the participants could pitch their ideas for sessions and then organize them in blocks in one hour.
Some of the projects that Public Labbers have developed are flying technologies. Kites and balloons, together with compact and micro cameras, can be used to collect data. That is, to take areal photographs of the territory that later, with the help of software, can be stitched together and make a digital map. This technique is particularly useful if you want to have the most updated map of a territory. Although there are several maps available nowadays on the internet, they are usually out of date. Making your own maps can be useful to address environmental challenges such as water contamination, vegetation issues, and air pollution. Being able to generate your own eye bird, as a community could be empowering and useful for visualizing environmental problems. More information about this technique can be found in this Public Lab research note.