24 February 2010

Grassroots Mapping ~ DIY Digital Cartography!

I'm delighted by the emergence of DIY photo-cartographics like the Grassroots Mapping project...
"Grassroots Mapping is a series of participatory mapping projects involving communities in cartographic dispute, started by Jeffrey Warren of the MIT Media Lab’s Design Ecology group and the Center for Future Civic Media. [...] Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography, the grassroots mappers used helium balloons and kites to loft their own "community satellites" made with inexpensive digital cameras. The resulting images, which are owned by the residents, are georeferenced and stitched into maps which are 100x higher resolution that those offered by Google, at extremely low cost. In some cases these maps may be used to support residents’ claims to land title. By creating open-source tools to include everyday people in exploring and defining their own geography, we hopes to enable a diverse set of alternative agendas and practices, and to emphasize the fundamentally narrative and subjective aspects of mapping over its use as a medium of control."
Great initiative! Plus, check out their illustrated "how-to" guide!

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