Grassroots Mapping Creating cheap open source aerial imagery and data for Community efforts to cleanup a polluted neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, USA Bringing memories and fun back to civic data Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science Kite Photographed “Grassroots” Crop Marks of Roman Buildings, Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, Flickr, Paolo Opaxir, May 2008
Canal Manhattan Gowanus Watershed The Canal Historic Landfilled Tidal Marsh A Community Campaign in need of Grassroots Data to help with decisions and new ideas Manhattan Gowanus Canal Superfund Pollution Cleanup Site Aerial: NYCDEP 1990, Sewage: Tom Giebel 2010 “ Sludgie” Superfund mascot: Anna Martin 2009
We live in an age of amazing technological access but… Sometimes we want to know more .. So who do you call ..? Peru USA Aerial Photos courtesy of Google Maps and Bing Aerials circa 2009 (?)
Unless stated otherwise, all photo credits are Grassrootsmapping.org, 2011
Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science Exploring ways to make technology and science more accessible for local Community ideas Creating a VISUAL record of Community activities HELPING ANSWER THE QUESTION: HOW DO WE DO IT ?
FOR THE GULF OIL SPILL … HELPING ANSWER THE QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENED?
FOR THE GULF OIL SPILL … KEEPING A PUBLIC RECORD: WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE ?
MAKING “HOW TO..” TOOLS AVAILABLE ONLINE … AND SETTING UP A MUTUAL LEARNING PROCESS
CONSTANTLY SEEKING IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS Recycled Plastic Bottle Camera Stabilizer Rig Jen Hudon, 2010 Grassrootsmapping.Org discussion forums
Nat Fein, 1947, Central Park
Eymund Diegel (Proteus / Gowanus Canal Conservancy / Dredgers) with Canoers from Gowanus Dredgers, about to use balloons to take aerial photos of the Canal waters and edges. Photo credit: 2011 Mike Weiss, Brooklyn Eagle
The Gowanus Canal Conservancy Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010 FIRST STREET BASIN RESTORATION BROUWERS BROOK / DEGRAW ST BIO SWALE BERGEN CREEK / BATTLE BRIDGE PUBLIC PLACE PARK SECOND AVE BIOSWALE FOURTH STREET BASIN RESTORATION SECOND STREET SPONGE PARK WHOLE FOODS PARK OIL POLLUTION
SECOND AVE STREET END SITE AERIAL SHOWING ILLEGAL MOTOR OIL SPILLS 27 March 2011 Grassroots Mapping Kite Aerial
Water Sensitive Urban Design How can cheap High resolution aerials help ? 1766 Historical Watershed Modeling by Lucas Kronawitter, 2011 ArcHydro Watershed Flow Map by Eymund Diegel, 2010 Grass by Albrecht Durer, 1503 Sites for which we we want aerial data : versus ECOLOGICAL WATER CYCLE URBAN WATER CYCLE IT RAINS WATER GOES INTO PIPE CONDENSATION EVAPORATION INFILTRATION IT RAINS SOME WATER GOES INTO PIPE WE ARE LOOKING FOR GOOD INFILTRATION SITES Being able to see the vegetation is important:
Whole Food Site 31 July 2011 Balloon Aerial Trees like growing near buried old streams and survive best near “edges”
Capturing the 4 Seasons of the Canal’s first Green Infrastructure 22 January 2011 27 March 2011 21 July 2011 Winter Spring Summer www.gowanuscanalconservancy.org CREATING A HISTORY
www.gowanuscanalconservancy.org ENCOURAGING DATA SHARING & BETTER IDEAS BETWEEN CITY, STATE, THE COMMUNITY & LOCAL INDUSTRY
The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club Making the Canal fun while providing information about its water quality to the Community through free boats and education events Come on down ! www.gowanuscanal.org REACHING OUT WHEN IT SUCKS, ADVERTISE IT
Proteus Gowanus Historical Maps from the Hall of the Gowanus Community Happenings Education & Outreach Proteus Gowanus acts as an interpreter of culture and place, deepening the community’s sense of context and connection 1639 1782 1836 1837 1844 Bringing Memory Back to Space Bess Adler, Brooklyn Paper, June 2011 www.proteusgowanus.org Interdisciplinary Gallery & Reading Room Scientific Samples & Data as Art Katia Kelly, Pardon Me For Asking, 2011 Superfund Manager Tsiamis 1766 1924 The Star of the Gowanus
LANDFILLED DURING 1960’S BY TRUCKS COMING AT NIGHT FEDERAL CLEANUP INVESTIGATION FOUND TOXIC LEVELS OF MERCURY WILL NEED EXCAVATION WHAT CAN WE FIND OUT ? Above: 1951 Aerial with Boats Below: 2011 View of Filled Basin Aero Service Aerials, 1951
Proteus – Hall of the Gowanus Site (old Brouwers Mill) Freeke’s Mill 1776 Battle of Brooklyn Site Contaminated 1 st Street Basin that will need excavation Island where 1776 battle Casualties may have been buried FIRST STREET BASIN SITE Map: Bernard Ratzer,1766 Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858
Potential Spring 1766 stream overlay COULD THIS SPRING STILL BE RUNNING ?
Birds and Fish as guides to where the clean water is for restoration opportunities Heron photo: 2007 Bob Gusskind
Brouwers Brook Restoration (Degraw Street Bioswale) Mapping the historic streams of the Gowanus Canal Are there clues in the water’s color ?
D.I.Y Infrared Analysis
Whole Foods Site Infrared Photo Test Exploring whether nutrient levels in water can be mapped Why was this outflow concealed ? INCONCLUSIVE RESULTS But ..
Where did we screw up? What can we do better ? WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF OUR CHALLENGES ?
Dredgers Wetland Street runoff + local plants 2007 Bob Gusskind Tidal site + intervention NEED BETTER IMAGE QUALITY
3 rd Ave & 3 rd Street photo of Whole Foods site contaminated soil excavation pits showing brief reappearance of historic Denton Mills Pond: 2007 Bob Gusskind
Working with “we know where you are” technology WHERE TO FROM HERE ? Ligia Cravo, 2011 Dredgers Conservancy Dredgers
BLUE = PEOPLE USING PERSONAL MEDIA DEVICES AT FORMERLY ABANDONED CANAL SITES Eric Fisher, 2011 WHAT WILL BE THE NON TRADITIONAL DATA SOURCES OF THE FUTURE ?
IDEA: GEOTAGGED POLLUTION MONITORING & PLANT IMAGES THAT AUTOMATICALLY OVERLAY ON GRASSROOTS AERIALS Gina Wirth, 2011