This past Saturday, September 27, the GCC in collaboration with Public Lab hosted a Gowanus Low-Altitude Mapping (GLAM) Event.

Using balloon-mapping technology: a camera attached to a string attached to a big helium balloon combined with a lot of creativity and patience, we set out on a beautiful (and if anything a little hot) September day to take some great photos of the Gowanus Canal and the adjacent area.  Using this method, the GCC can obtain low-altitude, high-resolution photographs which would otherwise be unattainable. With these, we can track the health and appearance of the canal, vegetation changes around the canal and overall keep up-to-date documentation of the changes around the canal.

With the help of volunteers and canoes we were able to get some great and useful pictures. We utilized food coloring in order to help track the streams and flows of the canal as well.

Everything ran smoothly and there were no mishaps, the balloon didn’t pop and no canoe overturned, though I must admit to being a little sore even two days after all that rowing!

-Yesmin Vega, Urban Forestry Intern and Volunteer Coordinator

Some of the materials required for balloon aerial mapping over the canal. Not pictured: volunteers, canoes and of course the balloon

Some of the materials required for balloon aerial mapping over the canal. Not pictured: volunteers, canoes and of course the balloon

Picture Perfect: The camera in its creatively made plastic housing, ready for flight

Picture Perfect: The camera in its creatively made plastic housing, ready for flight

The balloon is not to be taken lightly

The balloon is not to be taken lightly

Volunteers mapping the area of the Salt Lot

Volunteers mapping the area of the Salt Lot

The team on the water Source: Jennifer Sta Ines’ Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jensta/sets/72157648137277242/

The team on the water Source: Jennifer Sta Ines’ Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jensta/sets/72157648137277242/

Photo shoot in front of Whole Foods! Source: Jennifer Sta Ines’ Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jensta/sets/72157648137277242/

Photo shoot in front of Whole Foods! Source: Jennifer Sta Ines’ Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jensta/sets/72157648137277242/

View of the Canal from up above. Source: Eymund Diegel’s Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51802375@N04/

View of the Canal from up above. Source: Eymund Diegel’s Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51802375@N04/

View of the canal and the freshwater Source: Eymund Diegel’s Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51802375@N04/

View of the canal and the freshwater Source: Eymund Diegel’s Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51802375@N04/

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