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Jeff Warren: Mapping the Oil Spill with Balloons and Kites

Nominated by Jennifer Marlow

Jeff Warren of the MIT Media Lab's Center for Future Civic Media is mapping the BP oil spill one balloon at a time. Launching cheap digital cameras tied to helium balloons floated above the oil booms, he's capturing higher-than-Google-resolution imagery of the spill—injury-by-injury and bird-by-bird.

"Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography," Jeff has also worked with kids in Peru and El Salvador to map their communities using kites.

He's looking for volunteers to map the spill or financial contributions to help the cause. $50 buys a tank of helium; $100 buys a new kite. Visit for donation details.

Image Credit(s): Image of balloon launch courtesy of Flickr/jeferonix. Image of Jeff scrambling with Cantagallos kids via Grassroots Mapping.

Jen Marlow co-organized the Three Degrees Conference on the Law of Climate Change and Human Rights in May 2009, and is a Co-Founder and Inaugural Fellow of the Three Degrees Project at the University of Washington School of Law.

Editor's Note: This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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