Grassroots Mapping needs you… they are looking to raise $5000 fast.

Its not cheap taking images to help keep a big oil company honest. The grassroots mapping team has released the following.

We are a group of citizens and activist mappers who are documenting the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast with a set of novel DIY tools — we send inexpensive cameras up in helium balloons and kites, and take aerial photos from up to 1500 ft. The data we’re gathering will be vital in both the environmental assessment and response, as well as in the years of litigation following the spill. All the imagery we capture is released into the public domain and is free to use or redistribute.

We need support to keep a supply of helium, and to pay for gas, kites, cameras, and protective gear for our volunteers. We’ve already captured a great deal of amazing imagery which is available online:

http://grassrootsmapping.org/
http://grassrootsmapping.org/gulf-oil-spill
Louisiana Bucket Brigade, our collaborators and the local HQ, are sending volunteers out to affected coastal sites almost daily, and conducting training sessions for new volunteers in New Orleans and elsewhere along the gulf coast. Our imagery is being published across the web – not just photographs, but stitched maps like these:

http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/may-9-chandeleur-balloon/
http://maps.grassrootsmapping.org/chandeleur-may8-plane/

Our photography is of higher resolution and greater coverage than much of what the press has, and we’re now coordinating a nationwide effort to stitch the imagery into map overlays, which are viewable in Google Earth and OpenLayers. Our images are up to 10,000x higher resolution that the daily satellite images posted by NASA!

Help us get out there and record some evidence!

Read more and pledge here http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jywarren/grassroots-mapping-the-gulf-oil-spill-with-balloon/