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Public Lab community newsletter 4.19.13

by Shannon | April 19, 2013 15:34 19 Apr 15:34 | #6913 | #6913

This week in the Public Lab community newsletter... between trying out the new website, pitching in to help find great mentors and students for Google Summer of Code and completing a map annotation survey, we may not be leaving you time for much else during your weekend!

New Public Lab website. Many of you know that we've been hard at work on a new website for Public Lab. We're happy to announce that we're ready to launch an open beta of the new site. Thanks to Enrique Piraces, who donated the domain name, the new site is available at the much-shorter You can log in with your existing username and start using it today: Read more here.

Google Summer of Code. You might have read yesterday that Public Lab was excited to announce that we are part of the Google Summer of Code (GSOC) 2013 program! This program introduces students from colleges and universities around the world to open source software dev. through a stipend for summer coding on selected mentored projects. The projects being pitched by Public Lab are near and dear to the community-- spectrometry, aerial mapping and annotation, and near-infrared imaging. We now need your help in recruiting students and mentors! Please distribute information to your networks, but also, if you know of someone (or if you're that someone) who would like to work on environmental minded, open software projects, please email

Map annotation survey. If you haven't already, please take a minute to complete a quick survey about how you use, or might use, map annotations (adding text or visual information on top of aerial imagery). We're hoping to have enough answers by the end of today that we can compile a picture of what the Public Lab community is looking for as we continue to develop map annotating capabilities in MapKnitter.

Making Movies, Making Science. Tonight, at the MIT Museum there will be a screening of a short film on Public Lab by grad student Caterina Scaramelli. This film is part of a series called "Making Movies, Making Science" that includes work from MIT DV Lab students.

Three year BP oil disaster memorial event. If you're in the New Orleans area, Scott Eustis will be leading a kite/balloon mapping of a three year memorial demonstration in Artillery Park, tomorrow, April 20th at 1pm.

Media mentions this week. Nancy Scola wrote a fantastic article appearing in NextCity called, "DIY Science for Civic Good" and Victoria Marshall penned a piece called "Patch Reflections" that incorporates mentions of aerial imaging for urban ecology.

2013 Space Apps Challenge. With events in 48 cities across the world (happening this weekend), these events, "embrace collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space." Check out the challenges, a few of them citizen science focused, and the locations, to see if there are any near you.

Spectrometer design updates. The final Countertop Spectrometer design was posted yesterday as well as a modification to the liner design which now incorporates an integrated camera mount.

As always, if anything was missed, please post a research note, ping the list or send an email to for inclusion in the newsletter next week. Have a great weekend everyone! Shannon


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