Past Meetup

Philly Tech Week: Balloon Mapping Launch!

This Meetup is past

29 people went

Price: $5.00 /per person

Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

101 S Columbus Blvd · Philadelphia

How to find us

Meet at Great Plaza at Penns Landing (coordinates: 39.947462, -75.139844)

Location image of event venue


How to find us:

We're meeting as a group at one site-- along the Delaware River waterfront, at the Great Plaza on Penn's Landing. (

Great Plaza is next to the Blue Cross River Rink at Penn's landing. Public transit, biking, and driving are all good options. If you're taking the subway, get off at the 2nd St station on the MFL line and walk east over the Market Street bridge. When you hit Columbus Boulevard, you'll see the Great Plaza right in front of you. There are also several buses (17, 33, 48) that stop at Front and Market. Driving and parking might be a challenge at 9am, so give yourself extra time. Remember to feed the meters. Parking lot info here:

What to bring:

Dress for the weather. Materials will be provided.

Join us for a balloon mapping workshop on Philly Tech Week! You might remember the last balloon mapping workshop ( organized by Hacks/Hackers during Philly Tech Week 2 years ago. That was so well attended and so much fun, GeoPhilly wanted to do it again this year!

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. (

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. (