DIY AERIAL IMAGING + “MAP KNITTING” DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP SERIES 2/6
in collaboration with:
DIY AERIAL IMAGING + “MAP KNITTING” DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP SERIES 1/6
Edited by: Designed by: Documentation by:
Jaime Stein & Evren Uzer Andreas Theodoridis Dana Bauer, Evren Uzer & Jaime Stein
This booklet documents the outcomes of the second of six Design & Technology workshops complementing the NYC DEP Green Infrastructure Grant projects at Pratt Institute. Our DIY Aerial Imaging and “Map Knitting” workshop was led by Liz Barry (Public Laboratory) and facilitated by Evren Uzer and Andreas Theodoridis with financial support from Pratt
Embarking on our 125th year, Pratt Institute remains an
inviting and beautiful presence within the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Our main campus serves as a gathering space, public space, workplace and home to local community, faculty, staff and students. Over the years, we have fostered the creative growth of artists, designers, architects and planners through innovative practices incorporating community, technology and the arts. Just as professional practice and technologies have changed over the past 125 years, our campus and curriculum have undergone dynamic changes as well. Perhaps the most significant change being the recognition of climate change impacts and the role of academic institutions in not just training future environmental stewards but showcasing our campuses as leaders in sustainable development. Our efforts have been most recently recognized by an award from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program. This grant program is part of New York City’s 2010 Green Infrastructure Plan, an ambitious watershed based plan targeted at the reduction of combined sewer outfalls to our surrounding water bodies through the implementation of green infrastructure (GI) projects on both public and private property. The award was given to a collaborative proposal from the Institute’s facilities team and the Graduate School of Architecture’s Programs for Sustainable Planning & Development for the design and construction of two GI projects on the Institute’s main Brooklyn campus. The awarded projects, a 5,600 sq. ft green roof on our North Hall building and the green retrofit of a 37,000 sq ft campus parking lot were designed by Pratt faculty, staff and students. Together the projects will divert stormwater from the City’s overtaxed sewer system, enhance biodiversity and serve as demonstration projects for local job training programs. Most importantly, we hope the projects will “make visible” the many benefits of green infrastructure and the connection between land use practices and surrounding water body quality. With our series of community workshops we aim to ensure that all members of the Pratt community have an opportunity to learn of these exciting projects and understand their benefits. We hope to continue our tradition of education through innovation, technology and the arts while we turn our lens on making visible the benefits of GI.
MAPMAKING AND DIY AERIAL IMAGING WORKSHOP by Evren Uzer p. 5 GRASSROOTS MAPING by Public Laboratory p. 7
BECOMING A PUBLIC LABBER by Dana Bauer p. 11
A PARTICIPANT’S VIEW by Andreas Theodoridis p. 13
REFERENCES p. 14
GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM p. 15
PEOPLE p. 16-17
Dana Bauer (Independent mapmaker) Sadra Shahab (Pratt grad. student City & Regional Planning) Wen-Kai Kuo (Pratt grad. student UESM) Christine Camilleri (Pratt grad. student City & Regional Planning) Erdem T端z端n (Pratt grad. student ARCH) Whitney Hopkins (Product design, Engineer at Smart Design, Architect) Sara Hodges (Cartographer, Geographic info scientist) Lise Brenner (Choreographer public space artist) Andreas Theodoridis (Pratt grad. student UESM, Architect)
Aerial image of Cannoneer court parking lot, from DIY Aerial Imaging & Map Knitting workshop. Prepared by the participants and final edit by Wen-Kai Kuo.
Mapmaking and DIY Aerial Imaging Workshop* Evren Uzer “We had taken it for granted that maps were faithful reflections of reality; but we were somehow amazed when reality turned out to be true to the maps.” John Noble Wilford, The Mapmakers Mapping has changed from basic descriptions to protocols of text to multi-layered visual representations due to the need to represent information for different contexts. Its levels of accuracy depended on the current need, existing capacities and intentions that led to its creation. They once showed the location for safe routes and location of natural resources. Today's maps are enabling enormous amounts of data communicated via simplified visual representations. Maps are very powerful therefore political tools as they are representation vehicles for revealing of hiding certain territories. We depend on established systems and institutions to gather the visual information for current situation. These maps are instruments to understand the existing conditions. Especially for situations where the current data is not available due to lack of capacity to create them or merely political decisions that prevent , the skill of DIY mapmaking is essential. It both liberates the mapmaker from being dependent on existing systems and representation modes and also allows us to have a direct access to the information itself. As part of Green Infrastructure (GI) projects funded by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), we, as Pratt Institute, began realizing a series of design and technology workshops on environmental issues as a part of community outreach. We aim to engage the general public into issues related to environmental challenges, like combined sewer outfall, solid waste management and the urban heat island effect. Our second design and technology workshop," DIY Aerial Imaging + Map Knitting " led by Liz Barry of Public Laboratory realized on October 25th at Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus. Participants from Pratt and outside, built a balloon mapping set and conducted aerial imaging of Cannoneer Court Parking lot within Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Campus. This parking lot, one of the funded GI projects, currently has problems with rainwater ponding. We aim to solve the ponding
problems through a green infrastructure retrofit with a set of bioswales and pervious pavings applied to the parking lot. The aerial imaging workshop enabled us to document the traces of watermarks from previous ponding, as well as document the space pre-green intervention. We will repeat the aerial imaging after the implementation of green infrastructure elements next summer, after the first rainfall. During the workshop we: •Hacked a 4 GB SD card •Built a container and harness for the camera •Conducted aerial imaging •Merged the images in the afternoon using map knitter software 12 Participants from mostly planning, architecture and geography backgrounds and with a common interest in citizen science issues and mapping, took part in different stages of building the camera container and attaching to the ballon and conducting the aerial imaging. Right after our aerial imaging workshop, Sandy hit NYC. We used our aerial imaging materials and knowledge from the workshop to map contamination traces at surrounding Newtown Creek. Despite low quality images and some technical difficulties due to strong wind and existence of electric and telephone wires and poles as obstacles we managed to point some areas with flooding traces. *A shorter and earlier version of this text appeared on Public Laboratory website as a research note.
Grasroots Mapping* by Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, “PLOTS” Public Lab is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms. Community members develop tools and write open source instructions as research notes, wiki pages, printable guides, and videos, so others know how to use these tools, and many have started local groups in their area. We also provide support through our mailing lists. This works because everyone both learns from and helps each other out, and we all contribute to the growing body of documentation as we go. The term ‘civic science’ has been used to describe science “that questions the state of things, rather than a science that simply serves the state” (Fortun and Fortun 2005: 50). Too often in the history of science, and particularly in environmental health science, researchers have distanced themselves from the researched. This has been the case particularly in disciplines such as toxicology, laboratory based research and epidemiology which have favored the socially and economically powerful (Murphy 2006, Allen 2001, Fortun and Fortun 2005). PLOTS attempts to develop alternative dynamics and processes for research and development around environmental health issues that enable non-specialists to get involved in -- and even direct -- the questioning of ‘the state of things’. By developing and deploying a kit of investigative tools, PLOTS help citizens become more than mere observers in their environments. This helps communities to critically and actively investigate, identify and address environmental concerns. In a society which is increasingly recycling and reblogging information, PLOTS seeks to engage communities in the process of collecting and sharing new information. The PLOTS website gives local communities, educators, activists, and researchers a place to collaboratively discuss techniques, share data, and learn from experiences in other communities. Putting the techniques and tools of information collection and sharing into the hands of communities creates local experts that are able to represent themselves, engage with scientific experts, and participate in the decisions which set environmental justice agendas in their communities.
Local Versioning Over the course of each project, local mappers have begun to develop their own adaptations and improvements to the basic balloon and kite rigs. These regional variations are some of the strongest evidence that tools are not only being adopted, but that mappers are becoming experts in their own right -- incorporating local knowledge to adapt tools to challenging new scenarios. Some changes, such as the occasional Gulf Coast use of marsh grass or fish vertebrae as spacers to depress the camera button, come with a certain regional pride; other variations -like the use of boats to tow kites in the absence of wind -- have been shared “upstream”, to use the vocabulary of open source software development. That is, other regional groups have watched and learned new practices through photographs, blog posts, and phone conversations, as well as during visits between groups. Local versions help to assert local ownership not only over the data collection process, but over the very development of civic science technologies, and is an encouraging sign of the kind of “recursive” public we had hoped to foster. These small improvements speak not only to the growing expertise of individuals in constructing their own research tools with locally sourced materials and a deep understanding of local conditions, but they also demonstrate that the technology is far from mature, but is in fact constantly being reconfigured by its users to meet new scenarios. Local mapping groups have even rejected new improvements from other members of the PLOTS community, such as the experimental Mylar balloons which have gained popularity in the Gowanus Canal. Despite the lower cost of a Mylar balloon, the Gulf Coast team continued to use five and a half foot chloroprene weather balloons because of their durability and UV resistance. While the same Gulf Coast team developed waterproof plastic stabilizing wings and an elegant way to construct them from spare strips of the same soda bottle used to protect the camera, west coast mappers typically do not use stabilizing wings, preferring to stabilize the camera by simply taping it to the tether.
These examples of a basic tool design being transformed into locally reproducible versions are among the greatest successes of the PLOTS research community. The ability to respond to one’s environment, source local alternatives (whether at a store on the way to mapping site or on a boat in the middle of the wetlands), and create a tool that is better suited for one’s environment, demonstrates the ability of a DIY approach to successfully link local expertise with technological production. To support this kind of “local versioning” of PLOTS tools, and to enable more cross-seeding of ideas and approaches amongst members of our research community, we’ve begun planning “barn raisings” around tool development and pop-up Public Laboratory projects. The idea of these events, named after the 18th- and 19th-century rural American practice where a number of families collaborate to construct a barn, is to bring together a group of around 25 participants with a diverse range of expertise to collaborate on a specific DIY tool. The first barn raising was held on October 21-23 2011 in Asheville, NC, and was focused on developing an affordable infrared camera for aerial vegetation assessment. The Grassroots Mapping Forum and the Public Laboratory Archive Public Laboratory has found itself in a position to build a deeper capacity for developing new methods in civic science participatory engagement. Two of the outcomes that we aim to establish in all Public Laboratory aerial mapping projects going forward are making use of our online Public Laboratory Archive, and the printed map series known as the Grassroots Mapping Forum that both integrate our approach to participatory, discourse based practices in map making. The Archive fulfills several goals; one is to support the legitimacy of locally-sourced data by presenting it in formats which are legible to the traditional scientific establishment, and ensuring that the data can be correlated with more traditionally-collected data, such as that of the United States Geological Survey, for example. To create an ease of accessibility to the PLOTS digital collections in areas where Internet is either not consistently available or a choice tool for residents, we are additionally creating archived digital collections of images and maps from
each regions, compiling them on data sticks and DVDs and archiving them as part of local library collections in communities such as Belle Chasse and Buras, Louisiana. A DIY Forum Just as we advocate the construction and use of local versions of civic science tools, the Grassroots Mapping Forum affords an opportunity to develop a broader practice of developing discourse around mapping projects, and offers an example of a print format to achieve this. Since the publication of the first Forum, other aerial mapping projects have begun to develop print publications around the data they have produced, and we have begun to promote the production of local, â€œDIYâ€? editions of the Forum for every project our community attempts. This is one of the first steps in developing a literature around our community of practice in order to legitimize and refine our approach and the data it yields. *This text is excerpted from: GRASSROOTS MAPPING: Creating a participatory map-making process centered on discourse by Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, Shannon Dosemagen, Jeffrey Warren and Sara Wylie, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Grassroots Modernism/Issue 8, http://www.joaap.org/issue8/GrassrootsMapping.htm
Becoming a Public Labber by Dana Bauer (Independent mapmaker) I first heard about the Grassroots Mapping community two years ago. I’d seen some of their images of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and I was fascinated that Gulf Coast residents were using do-it-yourself aerial photography to document and map the effects of oil on the shorelines. In June 2011, I noticed that the Grassroots Mappers had grown into a organization called the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, and that they’d won a Knight Foundation award to support citizen-based data collection and mapmaking in multiple cities. I began thinking seriously about how I could incorporate some of their tools and techniques into my own practice. At the time, I was working at a geospatial software development firm in Philadelphia. A big part of my job was helping non-profits and mission-driven organizations wrangle and analyze their data. Our maps and visualizations often led people to ask sophisticated questions about spatial patterns they saw in the data. It was satisfying work. One thing I missed, however, was collecting data in the field. As a graduate student in geography and urban studies, I’d been able to work on projects that involved mapping and photographing community gardens and vacant lots throughout Philadelphia. I loved interacting with people as I moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, talking to them about their communities, soliciting ideas about which parcels of land to capture on my maps. These days, as a freelancer, I do a mix of mapping, data collection and data wrangling, technical writing, open-data proselytizing, and teaching. I’m always looking for opportunities to get away from my desk and computer. When I heard about the aerial imaging workshop at Pratt in October 2012, I jumped at the chance to do fieldwork with the Public Lab. The workshop was one of the most rewarding mapping experiences I’ve ever had. Working with a small team of urban planners, geographers, and designers from Pratt, I learned how to build a balloon-mapping rig, launch it, stitch together
images with Mapknitter, and document and share the project with the entire Public Lab community. Liz Barry’s overview of the Public Lab and its mission was incredibly inspiring. Best of all, Liz proclaimed all of us new “Public Labbers” by the end of the workshop. I’m hoping to take what I learned at the workshop and help build the Public Lab’s presence in Philadelphia. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working with Sean McGinnis, a fellow geographer, to organize a similar workshop through Hacks Hackers Philly, a meetup that attracts an exciting mix of journalists, technologists, programmers, hackers, web developers, data lovers, and geographers. We’re hopping to launch our balloon in January or February 2013 and bring more Philly-area Public Labbers into the community.
A workshop Participantâ€™s View by Andreas Theodoridis (Pratt UESM - student)
References for DIY Aerial Imaging & Mapmaking
. Public Laboratory website: www.publiclaboratory.org . The Public Laboratory's Balloon Mapping Quick Start Guide to filling and flying (pdf) http://archive.publiclaboratory.org/download/balloon-mapping-quickstart-1.0-en.pdf
. The Public Laboratory's Balloon Mapping Check Lists (pdf)
. Benton, Chris. Notes on Kite Aerial photography. http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html . GIS wiki encyclopedia http://wiki.gis.com Moderated GIS encyclopedia Wilford, J. N. 2001, The Mapmakers, Vintage Publications, Rev. Sub. edition. Gibbs-Smith, C. H. A, 1954. History of Flying, Frederick A. Praeger, New York.
Green Infrastructure Fellowship by Green Infrastructure Fellow Leonel Lima Ponce Funded by the 2012 NYC Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Grant program, Pratt Institute has embarked upon several initiatives to make the many benefits of green infrastructure more visible. Our initiatives have come to fruition under the leadership of our Green Infrastructure Fellows. The fellows, three competitively selected PSPD students each semester, form a support system for the NYC DEPGrant initiatives, ensuring continued PSPD student body participation in the North Hall green roof and Cannoneer Court parking lot projects. In the first, design semester of each site, Fellows have been tasked with creating maintenance, environmental monitoring, and community outreach plans that go above and beyond the requirements of DEPâ€™s program. Each of the three Fellows have been tasked with a specific topic; Leonel Lima Ponce is devising a maintenance plan, Ross Diamond is putting together an environmental monitoring program, and Andreas Theodoridis is organizing Design and Technology Workshops geared at increasing community education and public awareness around green infrastructure. For the first three years of life of the constructed projects, Fellows will engage in hands-on maintenance and monitoring of each project, and continue to host community and student education events around green infrastructure. To ensure increased exposure within the PSPDâ€™s students, Fellows will rotate each semester, with interested students applying for a single term. After the first 3 years, a trained workforce from the Facilities Management office of Pratt Institute will take over maintenance duties, while Fellows will continue to monitor co-benefits of each project, and to serve as ambassadors of innovative green infrastructure and their benefits to the student body and surrounding communities.
People 2012 Green Infrastructure Fellows Ross Diamond began his career in wildlife biology and since pursuing a degree in environmental systems at Pratt, has strived to co-join the two disciplines. Green roofs have been the manifestation of these two interests, with a particular focus on biodiversity and providing habitat for neotropical migratory birds. Ross is currently working part time as an environmental compliance specialist and is a Fall 2012 Green Infrastructure Fellow at the Pratt Institute. Leonel Lima Ponce is an architectural design professional from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austinâ€™s School of Architecture and candidate for Pratt Institute's MS in Urban Environmental Systems Management, Leonel has worked at Mitchell Giurgola Architects, Brooklyn Greenroof, and Inhabitat, and entered design competitions with Architecture for Humanity and ARCHIVE Institute. He hopes to apply his experience in developing the design curriculum of Pratt's UESM degree and as a Green Infrastructure Fellow into implementation of equitable, sustainable infrastructures for New York City and his native Rio. Andreas Theodoridis is a practicing architect and engineer. He is principal and founder of 207Ă—207 architects , an Athens based design studio, having built several residences, office buildings, retail and entertainment facilities, outdoor spaces and prominent buildings, including the embassy of Kuwait in Greece. Theodoridis was a visiting critic at Columbia University's global networking program in Greece and is currently a candidate for the MS Sustainability Management Program at Pratt Institute in New York. His work has been published and exhibited in a number of venues including the Venice Bienalle and the Design Hub of Barcelona.
Organizers Liz Barry Director of urban environment at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science and co-founder of TreeKIT, Liz Barry develops geographic tools and civic science methods for collaborative cities. Her background is in urban landscape design, and she teaches at Columbia University, Parsons the New School for Design, and Pratt Institute. Previously, she worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill planning international new cities and campuses, at Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG) coordinating youth urban agriculture enterprise, and has travelled around the country catalyzing interaction among strangers with a “Talk To Me" sign – a project that received international press including the New York Times, AP, CNN, Oprah and NPR’s This American Life. She likes to play outside Jaime Stein directs the Urban Environmental Systems Management program at Pratt Institute, a Master of Science in sustainability studies with a curriculum at the nexus of environmental design, science and policy. Ms Stein has 12 years experience in advocating for sustainable communities, beginning as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Burkina Faso and ranging as wide as solid waste management in biomedical research at The Wistar Institute of Philadelphia. After leaving Sustainable South Bronx as their Environmental Policy Analyst in 2011, Ms Stein has focused on revamping the Environmental Systems curriculum to train environmental professionals with a systems thinking approach to solid waste, energy and water quality management. Her recent focus on water has lead to the creation of a professional certificate in Green Infrastructure at Pratt’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and a 2012 NYC DEP Green Infrastructure grant award to the Institute. Evren Uzer is an urban planner and currently Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute PSPD. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning on disaster risk at historical urban areas. She has socially engaged art practice at art collective roomservices (www.roomservices.org) and works on projects and runs workshop on public participation and urban interventions via Istanbul based group imkanmekan (www.imkanmekan.org). She has previously worked as a lecturer at Creative Technologies BSc in Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Bergen School of Architecture in Norway and at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey.
THIRD DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP vermicompost vagabonds workshop: household scale composting March 22nd , 2013 will be led by Kate Zidar, Executive Director Newton Creek Alliance.
email@example.com www.pratt.edu Printed Dec. 2012 , NYC