At the start of the Greening Bourj Al Shamali project in 2015, we realized we needed a map of the refugee camp, because those that existed were tightly held by international organizations and not available to camp inhabitants. With the support of a group of youth from the camp and the buy-in of the local community, we launched a balloon-mapping initiative and set about mapping the camp.
Balloon mapping is a simple low-cost technique that produces high-resolution aerial images: a “do-it yourself satellite imagery” developed and promoted by Public Lab, a non-profit community that aims to democratize science to help people address environmental issues.
We are currently assembling the map from this imagery, and have successfully identified a potential site for the green space in the camp. At ZKU, we aim to develop our work further and learn from Berlin’s green urban spaces. A balloon-mapping workshop will also be held at ZKU with assistance from Firas Ismail and Mustapha Dakhloul from Bourj Al Shamali refugee camp. This workshop will showcase the technique, and hopes to link Berlin symbolically with Bourj Al Shamali.
The project is kindly supported by the Andrea Von Braun Foundation: