The Public Lab Store Starter kits for DIY environmental science

All-in-One Balloon and Kite Mapping Kit

Buyers outside the US, please select Balloon and Kite Shipping option.  This sends your TWO packages  USPS Priority International.

All-in-One Balloon and Kite Mapping and Aerial Photography Kit. 

The weather is always changing and this kit provides an all-weather solution for kite and ballooning weather. If it is too windy to fly a balloon simply use the same reel and line and swivel with either of the kites. There are 2 different kites for varying amounts of wind, both have the same simple and sturdy delta design.


Balloon and Reel:

Best for windless days, this DIY kit -- developed by community researchers from Public Lab -- enables you to take your own aerial photos from 1000 ft or higher. Using the open source tool MapKnitter, you can stitch the resulting images into an online map -- your own "counter-cartography" version of Google Maps. Use it to tell a different story from the "official" map -- document contamination (it was used to map the BP oil spill) or wetlands loss, or to record a temporary condition like the Occupy Oakland encampment

Each kit includes:

  • A 5.5 foot (170cm) reusable* balloon made of a latex/chloroprene (neoprene) mix
  • 1000 feet (305m) of 110lb test (55 kilo) Dacron line, pre-wound on an 8" hoop winder
  • protective leather-palm cotton gloves for handling the line. Thin line can cause burns to unprotected hands.  
  • three (3) high-strength (270lb) swivel clips.  For attaching the balloon and camera
  • 20 rubber bands. for making a camera cradle
  • three (3) reusable velcro ties. for closing the balloon
  • one (1) 1" rubber ring. for attaching the balloon to the line
  • one (1) steel carabiner. for anchoring the balloon on the ground
  • two (2) aluminum mini carabiners. for attaching cameras to the line
  • printed instruction booklet
  • reusable box with handle

*We are seeing 5-12 inflations if the balloon is minimally filled (40-50 cu ft) 3-5 if it is medium inflated (60-70 cu ft) and 2-3 inflations if the balloon is filled all the way to 80-85 cu ft.  

Kites:

Save money on helium when there's wind and map with kites!  Our Kite Mapping Set complements your Balloon Mapping Kit with two delta kites-- Gomberg's 7' (213 cm) Hi Sky Delta and 9' (274 cm) Dazzle Delta.  These kites come with four ribbon tails and a 15' (4.5m) fuzzy tail.  Tails can be used to stabilize kites in gusty and variable winds, and even to fly off-wind.  Both kites are safe to fly in 5-18mph winds (8-30kph), but two sizes let you pick the easiest kite to handle given the weather.

  • 7' (213cm) Hi Sky Delta Kite
  • 9' (274cm) Dazzle Delta Kite
  • 15' (4.5m) Fuzzy Tail


In addition to this kit
, you'll need a camera that can do continuous shooting and a 2-liter soda or juice bottle. Click here for details.

To learn more about balloon mapping and get involved in the community, check out the open source documentation on the Public Lab website

 

Please allow  at least 1 weeks for shipping domestically, 3 for international . Kite and Balloon kit come as separate parcels. All PLOTS content is CC-BY-SA and CERN OHL 1.1

Wholesale

Want to carry our kits in your own store? Order wholesale! Contact the kits team.

Community Science Forum: Frac Sand

Our quarterly print publication has a new name, and a wider scope. It's now called the Community Science Forum. This issue is focused on frac sand, and in particular on the work being done in western Wisconsin by community groups concerned about air and water quality impacts of mining operations there.

Usually $5, we're offering the new issue at an experimental price of $2 plus shipping.

Event Packs

Do you have an event planned and would like to introduce Public Lab to your community? Order a $10 Event Pack with GMF and foldout maps!

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