Public Lab Wiki documentation

Balloon Mapping Kit

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This kit, offered for sale by Public Laboratory's nonprofit arm, is the result of experiments in DIY balloon mapping. They were available through the Balloon Mapping Kits Kickstarter and now online through Breadpig.

Balloon Mapping Kits in the Public Lab store »

The kit is based on the more in-depth description of balloon mapping kit materials here:

Useful links

  • MapKnitter for stitching your aerial photos into online/digital maps
  • The Public Laboratory Archive - a repository of open data maps produced mostly with balloons and kites, by independent "grassroots mappers"
  • Register on this site to take part in the growing Public Laboratory open source community and get support from other balloon mappers
  • Kite mapping is a good alternative to balloons in areas where helium is hard to come by
  • Check out near-infrared photography for using your kit with an additional infrared camera to analyze vegetation

Each kit contains:


The kit ships with paper documentation. (all available on the Guides page for download) The latest editions of:

  • Grassroots Mapping Guide
  • Balloon Mapping Quick Start Guide
  • Balloon Mapping Flight Checklists and Packing Lists
  • Kit contributors list
  • CERN Open Hardware License
  • Legal Indemnity & Safety warnings
  • Welcome to Public Laboratory getting started page
  • (not for first KS shipping, but for later kits?) a 1 page Flight Log

printed matter for balloon kit


This is important for shipping/online sales: SKU, Description, Weight * BPIG-PLOTS-125RING 1.25" Dia. Steel Ring = .05 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-CABTIE 5.5" Reusable Cable Tie = <.05 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-CARAB GalvanizedSteel eye-ring Carabiner = .05 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-ELASTF #64 Latex Free Rubber Bands = <.05 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-LGLOVE Cotton Work Glove, Palm-Coated with Latex, Large = .10 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-NEOBAL 5.5' Chloroprene Balloon = .70 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-REEL 8" Hoop Winder with 1000ft 110# line = 1.10 lbs. * BPIG-PLOTS-SWIVL 170# test Mighty Mini All-Stainless Snap Swivel = <.05 lbs.

= 2.15 lbs total

Shipping costs end up being:

  • UPS Ground: $6.23
  • USP 3-day select: $17.63
  • USP 2nd day air: $25.77
  • USP next day air: $63.18