Philly Tech Week: Balloon mapping workshop

This is a past event

24 people went

Price: $10.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


Update (4/23/2013): We're meeting as a group at one site-- along the Delaware River waterfront, at the Great Plaza on Penn's Landing. We sent detailed instructions to all the workshop participants registered for the event.

Here's our schedule:

9am: workshop participants meet at the Great Plaza near the Blue Cross River Rink at Penn's Landing (; introductions and overview of balloon mapping. 9:30am-11am: balloon launch on the waterfront. 11am: travel to the computer lab at the Philadelphia School District offices at 440 North Broad Street. 11:30am - 3pm: lunch. Mapknitter ( workshop; hardware hacking and experimenting with building camera rigs. How to get to Great Plaza:

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, but it's up to you. Remember to feed the meters. Parking lot info here:

Update: We'll be outside for the morning portion (9am-noon) of the workshop, at two different sites in the city. We'll contact participants on Monday 4/22 with more information about where they should report in the morning. (Both outdoor sites are accessible by public transit.) The afternoon portion of the session (noon to 3:30pm) will be at The School District of Philadelphia, 440 North Broad Street, first floor computer lab.

Join us for a balloon mapping workshop during Philly Tech Week! Balloon mapping is a low-cost, easy, and safe way to make maps and aerial images. 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:

You'll be making maps and launching balloons along with members of Hacks Hackers Philly, The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, and The Hacktory. The event is on Wednesday April 24 from 9:30a-3:30p. Location TBD.

Read more about balloon mapping and example uses on The Public Laboratory's website: . And check out recent balloon launches by Hacks Hackers members Sean McGinnis ( (video ( and maps ( and Dana Bauer (images/video ( and maps (

This workshop will be a full-day event, with a morning session focused on building the rig and flying the balloon, and an afternoon session focused on using open source software ( to stitch the images together to make a map. The morning session will be outdoors in the city, so please dress accordingly. Lunch and the afternoon session will be indoors at a location TBD. It is possible for participants to attend either the morning session or the afternoon session or both.

We're charging $10 to cover the cost of supplies and lunch. Please bring cash to the event.

This workshop is funded by a donation from the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project and a micro-grant from the Philly Tech Week organizers. Special thanks to the Philadelphia School District for hosting us for the afternoon portion of the workshop.