Weekend EcoHack: Grassroots Mapping of the BP Oil Spill

If only BP was working half as hard as the folks behind the Grassroots Mapping project, an effort that has brought together eager DIY-ers, armed with balloons, helium, and cameras in a plan to document the gulf coast oil spill. The project helps people set up make-shift aerial cams, which they can attach to balloons and kites and fly over areas of the Gulf Coast which they think have been particularly affected by the oil spill. The project then encourages them to share their photos and findings in the public domain and overlaid on Google Maps.

The idea behind the oil spill mapping project is not to recreate what the government and private groups have done with satellite imagery, but to create a public record of photography that can help contest any potential disagreements over how far the oil spill has spread. The group is looking for support to help cover the costs of balloons, cameras and helium, and check out their pitch on Kick Starter.

Images courtesy of the public domain via jeferonix’s photostream, Sunday May 9 balloon mapping at Chandeleur islands (Set), and Stewart Long on a plane provided by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network/LEAN).