OSDC Keynote: How Public Lab collaborates


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  • The major things we produce are communities of expertise. We are a living, learning network. Other things that get produced along the way like datasets, tools, and even successful environmental change are merely the evidence…the footprints that we leave behind. Managing our environment is a problem so big – and this crowd is familiar with wicked problems – that scaling the capacity of the community itself is the only way to approach it.
  • Basically you tie a cheap digital camera to a kite, just like this one and you send it up. The camera is hacked to take pictures every 10 seconds..
  • In order to tell stories that differed from the official version, the boat captains like Jim from Uptown Angler offered their services to carry activists out to capture their own images by balloon and kite. Brown Pelican (LA State bird) and Sandwich Tern are visible here on reef rock, sand bar, and sand spit alongside rainbow oil sheen, chemical dispersants and tarballs. This 8,400 x 8,700 pixel wide image fits entirely into a single pixel of daily modis 1KM imagery. The balloon was floating about 1,500 feet up. The mappers and cartographers released this imagery of the first oil sheen making landfall into the Public Domain and it was broadcast around the world on CNN and other media outlets. The dataset retains its handcrafted quality and includes the boat itself. May 9, 2010.
  • Onquestions of environmental justice… communities adversely affected by govt decisions or industry, only thing they can do is complain, tell a story, give an anecdote… that’s not enough in this data-driven world… PLOTS broadening participating in languages of power (affordable, accessible, easy to use equipment to allow people to enter the conversation)…During the BP oil spill, the extent, resolution, moment of capture, and other aspects made gov’t / industry maps extremely different, and Public Lab maps highlighted issues that were obscure in the official data – in this case of broken, missing, and ineffective booms. Locals targeted known sensitive wetland areas for documentation before during and after oil made landfall for use in restoration and litigation.
  • The Public Lab archive is modeled after data.govThe archive distributes the on-demand imagery collected by people on scene. This imagery ranges between 2 and 10 cm resolution.This dataset of the first oil sheen landing on the Chandeliur islands is approximately 8000 pixels on a side , all of which fit into a single pixel of the daily MODIS imagery. 225 maps, XX GB.
  • Collaborative web-based software
  • We follow this model when developing new research equipment to put on our aerial rigs (infrared cameras that composite false color imagery as it’s collected , air quality boards, microbial sponges), as well as entirely new tools as you saw with the thermal fishing bob, thermal flashlight, a spectrometer, hydrogen sulfide monitor, among others.
  • Thermal image made with thermal flashlight and Glow Doodle.org
  • Since then in louisiana…Coal Terminal exampl
  • And on the Sandy Hurricane sewer water pictures we took – the fresh water from that spring is having a beneficial effect on polluted Canal water – helping dilute the sewage next to the tree – not surprisingly that is one of the few spots where we still see small fish and birds hanging out.
  • After today you will be able to get into the world of sample preparation and chemical analysis, but for today we are simply going to build and calibrate our own devices.
  • Online and in person mix, a shared infrastructure
  • massive attribution
  • Regional interests – learned from openstreetmap
  • Organizers have their own decision making voting structures.
  • Organizers are the basis of chapters.
  • Barnstars express appreciation for the many unique contributions made by individuals throughout the Public Laboratory community. They are a kind of "warm fuzzy" and can be used to convey sentiments ranging from profound respect to humor. Can be awarded by anyone to anyone. Not a “badge” or “certification”Learned this from WIkipedia
  • OSDC Keynote: How Public Lab collaborates

    1. 1. how Public Lab collaborates to make environmental science something anyone can do @publiclab @lizbarry OSDC.TW April 11, 2014
    2. 2. you
    3. 3. publiclab.org/archive
    4. 4. low-cost hardware + collaborative web software + visual data + public archive
    5. 5. publiclab.org/tools
    6. 6. principles of Public Lab’s approach
    7. 7. locals decide what to research
    8. 8. re-purpose consumer goods
    9. 9. customize locally to available means of production
    10. 10. let images communicate complexity
    11. 11. concealed operator diydrones.com cyberquad revealed operator build in openness & accountability
    12. 12. hands on making = learning
    13. 13. See © Public Laboratory Find the mapmaker & images mainstream true accountability
    14. 14. CERN Open Hardware 1.0 Share Back with Attribution GNU Public License 3.0 Copyleft Viral Software Licensing Creative Commons Share Alike with Attribution For Media open source
    15. 15. What are people researching ?
    17. 17. spectralworkbench.org:
    18. 18. Many detergents claim to be “free and clear” or something similar, but still contain this dye. To check these claims, I shone UV light on detergent samples, and compared the resulting spectra to a baseline UV spectrum...detergents using the dye absorbed [UV] light...and re-emitted it in lower-energy areas, usually around blue or cyan. Those that showed little change from the baseline UV spectrum do not....Using this process, we chose to use a detergent that did not use this dye. Josh McIlvain September 2012
    19. 19. How do we work together ?
    20. 20. publiclab.org/post
    21. 21. publiclab.org/forum
    22. 22. publiclab.org/profile/you Profile pages with contribution graphs
    23. 23. publiclab.org/profile/you
    24. 24. publiclab.org/contributors
    25. 25. publiclab.org/lists
    26. 26. publiclab.org/lists
    27. 27. publiclab.org/organizers Public Lab organizers are community members that have been nominated to positions of community leadership. They have an interest in the way our community collaborates and grows.
    28. 28. publiclab.org/places
    29. 29. publiclab.org/places
    30. 30. publiclab.org/places
    31. 31. publiclab.org/places
    32. 32. publiclab.org/places
    33. 33. publiclab.org/places
    34. 34. community barnraisings
    35. 35. community barnraisings
    36. 36. community barnraisings
    37. 37. The Barnstar
    38. 38. Discuss on email groups Document your research online Active members become organizers Meet in place-based chapters Hold barnraisings
    39. 39. Oakland, California, City Hall plaza
    40. 40. OccupyOakland, November 2, 2011: 10am
    41. 41. @PublicLab @lizbarry