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Public Lab Research note

Public Lab community newsletter 10.27.13

by Shannon | October 27, 2013 16:59 27 Oct 16:59 | #9646 | #9646

This week in the Public Lab community newsletter, prepare for events in Louisiana and Vermont, read about a new initiative to build an urban ag. toolkit, and get as excited as we are about the new Smartphone Spectrometer shipping out. Enjoy!


Public Lab is honored to announce that we were one of five finalists for the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

Packing and shipping has been in full swing on the Smartphone Spectrometer for a few days now; everyone is understandably pretty busy but we will do a more formal update as soon as we catch our breath! In the meantime, here's an animated gif of lots of shipping labels and cardboard boxes at the Portland office.

Thanks to the generosity of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Environmental Leadership Program has awarded an Innovation Grant to Public Lab, Ironbound Community Corporation and Phil Silva of Cornell Civic Ecology Lab for a project called Building a model for community garden management through innovative action, monitoring and evaluation.

Chris Fastie, Don Blair and Jeff Warren attended the Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit in Mountain View, CA this past weekend. Chris provided a post on the event including infrared photos from the Google campus.


This Wednesday (10/30) at 5:30pm at the Treme Community Center in New Orleans, meet at the computer lab for an intro to MapKnitter and work on image stitching from the Bayou Bienvenue flight that was done yesterday. Email for more information.

Chris Fastie will present a workshop on Public Lab tools at the Vermont Environmental Summit in Randolf Center, VT on Saturday November 9. The annual conference is organized by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group and Toxics Action Center. Keynote speaker will be Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Farms (his Ted Talk on GMOs).

The Wilson Center will be hosting an event called "New Visions for Citizen Science" on November 20th in DC. More information can be found here:

The Mozilla Festival in London ( began Friday night; Public Lab ran a table, with spectrometers and other fun stuff. Jeff Warren co-hosted a session called “Open source science - not just for scientists” on Saturday, and one called “Hello world, spectrometry edition: build your own working smartphone spectrometer”.

Public Lab in the media

A post on the 2013 barnraising was added to the PBS IdeaLab blog this past week:

Cindy Regalado of UCL ExCiteS and Citizens without Borders wrote a post on kite making/flying and spectrometry workshops that Public Labbers led in London this September.

Popular Science featured an article on "How to Turn Your Camera Into a Photosynthesis Detector".

Research Note highlights

  1. Updates on Photosynq (posted by gbathree)
  2. Nighttime balloon mapping (posted by jbreen)
  3. Results: Simple aerial photomapping session, San Diego EMB regional workshop (posted by patcoyle)
  4. Calibrating DIY NIR Cameras (posted by Nedhorning)
  5. Bio ceramic system (posted by ikerluna)
  6. Calibrating DIY NIR Cameras part two (posted by Nedhorning)
  7. ORD-SFO and SFO-ORD (posted by cfastie)

If anything was missed, please email the lists or post a research note. Have a great week everyone! Shannon

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