// Balloon Mapping


On Sunday, November 2 our class participated in a group field trip with the second Fundamentals of Art with Technology class, as well as two sculpture classes: Experimental Geopgraphies, led by Laurie Palmer, and Site, Installation, Environment, led by Sarah Ross.

The field trip was a four-class collaboration that included mapping and collecting data from the Calumet River in South Chicago during a boat trip down the Calumet River with Southeast Environmental Task Force, an environmental rights group who documents the river’s history and monitors pollutants from heavy industry in the area. The classes will be making maps using a DIY mapping technique called Balloon Mapping, using the Public Lab tutorials. In addition we will sample the area’s air and water quality and create visualizations of this data that translates the sensory aspects of this place. The classes will produce work work including video, maps and documents.

A Few Resources

Petcoke: Toxic Waste in the Windy City, Februuary 27. 2014. Video documentary by Vice News which describes some of the political and environmental issues in the community we will be mapping

Public Labs Balloon Mapping Tutorial The inspiration for it all, a handy tutorial for aerial mapping using helium filled weather balloons and digital cameras

Public Labs Near Infrared Camera – A tutorial we’ll be using to transform a camera powershot into a near infrared camera

Redstone Rig – a 3d printed camera rig we’ll be testing out on our trip

Double Faucet Cover Camera Rig – a cheap, bouyant rig we’ll be using for near infrared and normal aerial photography

Adafruit RTC library – Arduino library and code used for datalogging with the MicroSD shield

CHDK – Canon Hack Development Kit – used to control the camera’s autoshoot settings


A few images from the 10/23 test launch:

photo 1photo 2

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