Much of the Public Lab community's discussion and collaboration happens on our mailing lists. Join one today to get involved, ask a question, or find a collaborator!

publiclaboratory - the main place for Public Lab discussions, ideas & news; if in doubt, post here!

(since 2010. Now with >3,000 members)

laboratoriopublico - la lista de correo en castellano

(since 2010. Now with ~100 members)

Public Lab - Português - lista de discussão em português

(since 2014. Now with ~20 members)
You may also be interested in subscribing to specific topics on the website by tag, for instance the weekly newsletter.


Discussions and questions about tools, hardware and software development, field techniques, real world and educational applications.

grassrootsmapping - the place to discuss everything about balloon, kite, and low aerial pole-mapping. (since 2010, now >900 members)
plots-spectrometry - spectrometry and spectral analysis discussions. (since 2012, now >1000 members)
plots-infrared - near-infrared imaging and vegetation monitoring discussions. (since 2013, now >180 members)
plots-waterquality - water quality discussions, including thermal fishing, "the riffle", and the potentiostat. (started ~ Oct 13 2013)
plots-airquality - discussion list for air quality related topics. Was started for a project with EPA and is now open to all. (started summer 2012, currently ~80 members)
plotz-3d - Everything about 3D printers, especially the Rep 1s that were donated to Public Lab by MakerBot Industries.
plots-dev - group for people interested in conceptualizing and testing new web infrastructure for Public Lab, also the location for developers discussing detailed code-related topics. (Started late October 2013, 28 members)
plots-education Started at the 2013 education-themed barnraising, this group is for teachers of all varieties!
Writing Working Group - started at the 2013 barnraising, this group is for folks interested in writing articles, conducting interviews, assembling case studies, and more!
Google Summer of Code - a logistically-oriented discussion group for Public Lab's Google Summer of Code program.
Barnraising! - for folks attending and collaborating in person at the annual Public Lab barnraising.


Connect with other Public Labbers in your area, announce/coordinate local events and meetups, borrow equipment, and ask for local help.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: plots-amsterdam - ~50 members

Baltimore and Washington, DC: plots-baltimore-dc ~15 members
Boston metro area: plots-boston >150 members, the second largest geographic community!
Butte, Montana: plots-butte
Chicago metro area: public-lab-chicago since Feb 2014.
The Gulf Coast: plots-gulfcoast - Serving the New Orleans metro area and the entire Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida! Public Lab's core geographic community with over 100 members.
Jerusalem: publiclab-jerusalem - a new list, ~10 members.
Northern California: plots-norcal The Bay Area and beyond, ~100 members, lots of aerial mapping.
Los Angeles metro area: publiclab-la - Serving Los Angeles and Southern California, just formed in January 2014.
Midwest, US/Canada: publiclab-midwest - midwestern region of United States and Canada, since April 2014. ~34 members
New York City metro area: plots-nyc ~ 200 members, the largest local list. Includes New Jersey and Connecticut!
Philadelphia metro area: plots-philadelphia - ~15 members.
Providence, Rhode Island: plots-providence ~ 40 members.
Skane, Sweden: plots-skane
Southeast, US: plots-southeast - broad regional list for Appalachia & down east.
Vancouver, BC: public-lab-vancouver

The Northwest: public-lab-northwest - Serving Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta

Don't see your area listed here but want to find out if there are any folks nearby? Email

Working Groups

Working Groups (WGs) preform vital support functions for the Public Lab ecosystem. Largely consisting of organizers and staff, most WGs are open by nomination only so send an email if you are interested in contributing. - the Cartography Collective / Mapknitter Club helps stitch images that others have collected, finalizing maps and assisting with annotations to provide context. Most people contribute remotely, however the first local chapter has been formed in New Orleans. Read more and get involved on their wiki page. - the web working group, focused on support of existing users of the Public Lab website, our browser-based software, and spam moderation. Email the WebWG if you would like to become a moderator of this website. - the media working group, focused on social media, blog submissions, press releases, PR. - the Kits Initiative, focused on bulk orders, supply chain optimization, kit assembly, distribution, order fulfillment.

Nonprofit arm lists - staff of the nonprofit arm - board of directors of the nonprofit


We are recording the growth of these lists over time on this spreadsheet and graphing the results here to track community growth. (You can also see activity over time on the Google Groups about pages)


Please treat our mailing lists as a place of respectful conversation. Our lists have moderators to ensure civility. Moderators review the posts of all new members before approving them to post automatically. Some existing members may be placed into moderation if their posting pattern changes such that it violates our list guidelines (see below):

When posting to Public Lab lists:
Before you are placed into moderation, you will be notified on the pertinent list. References:,,

List management

Some consistency in spam handling, joining policy, and naming will be very helpful as the # of local lists grows. Also we want to just be careful not to let research-related conversations fragment. Each list should have at least one moderator who's responsible for spam and/or willing to say "Wow! Please take this extremely interesting conversation to the main publiclaboratory list!" To become a moderator, email