Also published on The Huffington Post
On top of the online reporting system for damage from the BP spill we looked at earlier, here’s more crowdsourcing from the Gulf: a group called Grassroots Mapping is helping folks on the coast map the extent and at least some of the effects of the oil slick. The tools? A digital camera, a big kite or a helium balloon, and a really, really long piece of string. As founder Jeffrey Yoo Warren laid out in a crowd-pleasing presentation at the Personal Democracy Forum conference last week, the group helps local activists assemble $100 kits that will let them take extremely detailed photographs of a given area using a consumer-grade digital camera hung from a kite or balloon suspended as high as several thousand feet in the air.