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MapMill is the Public Lab tool for sorting imagery produced with balloon mapping.

It takes hours to go through the thousands of images we're capturing from balloons and kites, to pick out the best ones for inclusion in our free and open source maps of the Gulf Coast and beyond. Help us with these projects by choosing the sharpest, clearest, best images.

If you are creating your own maps, MapMill is a great way to share lots of photos, and to offer a more accessible and inclusive first step in the process of turning images into maps. Email the link to your MapMill site to your community, post it on your blog or on Facebook. It's a great lightweight way to keep people engaged after the flight is over, to reach out to a wider group of folks with new opportunities to participate, and to raise public awareness around the subject of your map.

For other approaches to photo sharing, see Photo Sharing.



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Each image can be voted on only once by each user; this is tracked by a unique cookie issued to each browser. This can be circumvented by using a new browser or clearing cookies -- the purpose is to show each user which images they've already voted on.


With the new MapMill 2.0 platform, we've made it possible for the Public Lab non-profit to affordably provide hosting for thousands of images, but this comes with certain constraints.


Attempting to upload a large number of images (>100) at the same time may cause slowness on your computer. If you have a lot of images, it may help to use a more powerful computer, or to upload in batches.

Why does this happen? To optimize hosting, image thumbnail generation is performed in your browser, rather than on the server. This means that if you drag a thousand images into the upload form at once, your computer must generate all those thumbnails, which could overload your machine. (This is preferable to overloading the server!) A means of generating thumbnails in batches has been suggested here, but has not yet been implemented.


If you find a bug or experience problems, or if you are interested in helping to improve MapMill (an open source program), please file an issue on Github. If you are unable to use Github, you may contact for assistance. Thanks!