Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Using balloons and kites to launch cameras as “community satellites”, grassroots mappers around the world have engaged in local-level, activist remote sensing — building upon the critical cartography and participatory mapping movements to investigate local environmental and social issues with inexpensive “Do-It-Yourself” technologies. This article discusses community participation models and the importance of high-level participation in avoiding what we term crowdharvesting — a widespread trend in contemporary citizen science projects where participants are limited to categorizing data or logging observations. By contrast, through the process of first-hand data creation and analysis, community researchers in the Public Lab network have attempted to build expertise, critique existing data collection regimes, and reconfigure techno-scientific processes to include substantive civic participation.
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