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We're hitting the beaches and hitching boat rides to make aerial images of the gulf oil spill's effects using cameras attached to balloons and kites.
We're hitting the beaches and hitching boat rides to make aerial images of the gulf oil spill's effects using cameras attached to balloons and kites.
145 backers pledged $8,285 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,285

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Update: Thanks to everyone for getting us this far - with a few days to go, we could definitely still use any support you're able to offer. Now that we have teams submitting GIGABYTES of data, we're hoping to pay fishermen for gas money, not to mention help support those who've given so much of their time and expertise to stitch our maps together!

We are a group of citizens and activist mappers who are documenting the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast with a set of novel DIY tools -- we send inexpensive cameras up in helium balloons and kites, and take aerial photos from up to 1500 ft. The data we're gathering will be vital in both the environmental assessment and response, as well as in the years of litigation following the spill. All the imagery we capture is released into the public domain and is free to use or redistribute. See our Flickr photo pool for more of the incredible imagery volunteers are bringing in.

We need support to keep a supply of helium, and to pay for gas, kites, cameras, and protective gear for our volunteers. We've already captured a great deal of amazing imagery which is available online:

http://grassrootsmapping.org/ http://grassrootsmapping.org/gulf-oil-spill Louisiana Bucket Brigade, our collaborators and the local HQ, are sending volunteers out to affected coastal sites almost daily, and conducting training sessions for new volunteers in New Orleans and elsewhere along the gulf coast. Our imagery is being published across the web - not just photographs, but stitched maps like these:

http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/may-9-chandeleur-balloon/ http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/chandeleur-may8-plane/ As you can see in the above picture (our map overlaid on Google data), our photography is of higher resolution and greater coverage than much of what the press has, and we're now coordinating a nationwide effort to stitch the imagery into map overlays, which are viewable in Google Earth and OpenLayers. Our images are up to 10,000x higher resolution that the daily satellite images posted by NASA!

Help us get out there and record some evidence!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    We'll put your name on our donors list at http://grassrootsmapping.org/

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    38 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We'll send you a 5x7 print of any photo from our public domain dataset -- such as these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreywarren/sets/72157623910039211/

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    44 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll send you TWO 5x7 prints of any photo from our public domain dataset -- such as these: http://tinyurl.com/28jdpz3 and write your name on our camera capsule!

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    12 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    We'll send you an 11x14 poster of any photo from our public domain dataset and we'll write your name on one of our balloons!

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    13 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    We'll send you an 16x20 poster of any photo from our public domain dataset and we'll write your name on one of our kites! (kites don't pop, so this'll last longer)

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll send you an 20x30 poster of any photo from our public domain dataset and we'll write your name on one of our helium tanks in big fancy letters!

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    1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    We'll write about you in a blog post, put your name on an entire mappng kit (bag, reel, balloon, kite, and helium tank), and send you a 20x30 poster of any image from our public domain dataset.

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    We'll assemble a custom Grassroots Mapping Kit (sans helium - just go to Party City!) of the finest materials, pack it up and send it to you. If you're within a couple hours driving distance of one of us, we'll even come out and show you how to use it!

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    1 backer
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Funding period

- (24 days)