On 4 -5 February, an exhibition of our balloon mapping project took place in Al Hula
Association in Bourj Al Shamali refugee camp. The exhibition was divided into several
sections with different themes and information.
At the entrance, the exhibition had a small survey for visitors who came to see the
exhibition. The survey asked questions that hoped to make participants reflect on the
importance of a map for them and whether they had ever seen one of the camp.
After that, the exhibition showed the tools we used and how the process goes while of
course displaying pictures of us in action and a sample of what a balloon trip looks like
from the camera perspective.
Then there was a section where we see the time line of the refugee camp and people
were asked to detail key events that happened and that they consider important and
part of our camp history.
Next to this was a big map of the area where they would point to their favorite locations
and the important sites such as associations, mosques, schools, falafel shops, phone
As we wanted visitors to provide feedback on different issues, we also asked the people
to write their suggestions about what the garden our project plans to build should be like.
The exhibition then moves to a section that displays the evolution of maps of our area
from 1946 till what we have today. It also compared a google earth map of the camp to a
portion of our map with photos from the balloon to show the difference in quality and that
ours is more updated since we can see more new buildings today that on google maps
were you can see empty spaces.
Finally we have a special corner to show where people who contributed to our kickstarter
were from. An atlas marked all around the world their locations, and we thank them so
much they really helped us make it happen. I hope they are reading this article too ;)
After that is finished, there is a fun corner where there are areal pictures of different
places in the camp taken by the balloon and we asked people to try to guess where
those places are.
During the exhibition we were able to note how curious people were about how our
mapping works and they were amazed when the saw a portion of the result -- especially
the fact that something that is as simple as a camera hooked to a balloon gives such
results was for many truly is amazing. For me, not only the level of their cooperation and
desire to give their opinion and ideas was truly motivating, especially as we got a lot of
feedback and information that will help us complete the map and future projects. Many
visitors thanked us for our effort which was really pleasing and I consider the outcome of
this exhibition as truly positive, as everyone was happy about the map and learning how
to try to navigate whats where.