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More Grassroots Maps Come to Google Earth

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 30 2013

Public Lab Map of Orchid Hill. Charlotte, North Carolina.

Google Earth now includes over 100 new images from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science*, many of which are in the public domain. Read More

Disclosure: I'm Joining Public Lab's Board, and Here's Why

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 28 2013

Department of Disclosure update: I'm pleased to announce that I've joined the volunteer board of the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. Founded in 2011 by a collective of seven, Public Lab, as it's known in short, is a community that develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation, like balloon mapping and kitchen-table spectrometers. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible “Do-It-Yourself” techniques, Public Laboratory is nurturing a collaborative network of practitioners who are actively re-imagining the human relationship with the environment. Read More

Using Google Maps? You May Be Looking at a Home-Made Map

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, April 20 2012

Public Laboratory image of WhereCamp, Stanford University (April 2011) in Google Earth

Google Earth is now using 45 maps from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, the group announced in an e-mail. The Public Laboratory is a community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. This includes what they call "grassroots mapping" — using relatively low-cost tools like helium balloons and Flip cameras to create satellite imagery independent of big institutions or the government, which made a high-profile appearance along the Gulf Coast after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read More

How DIY Science Is Solving Ecological Mysteries In New York City

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 25 2011

Aerial imagery via Public Laboratory The folks at Public Laboratory recently showed off the latest frontier in DIY citizen science: infrared aerial imagery. These images aren't just for show. A mix of volunteers, ... Read More

Live: iPhone Balloon Video Coverage of 150,000 Student Rally in Chile

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 30 2011

Our friend Felipe Heusser writes with a breaking development from the streets of Chile: I am writing you guys from the streets of Santiago in the middle of a 150,000 students protest. We are live streaming from an iPhone ... Read More

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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