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Best for windless days, this DIY kit -- developed by community researchers from Public Lab -- enables you to take your own aerial photos from 1000 ft or higher. For windy conditions, complement it with a Kite Mapping Pack.
Using the open source tool MapKnitter, you can stitch the resulting images into an online map -- your own "counter-cartography" version of Google Maps. Use it to tell a different story from the "official" map -- document contamination (it was used to map the BP oil spill) or wetlands loss, or to record a temporary condition like the Occupy Oakland encampment.
To learn more about balloon mapping and get involved in the community, check out the open source documentation on the Public Lab website.
*We are seeing 5-12 inflations if the balloon is minimally filled (40-50 cu ft) 3-5 if it is medium inflated (60-70 cu ft) and 2-3 inflations if the balloon is filled all the way to 80-85 cu ft.