Balloon Mapping is, basically, a method of recording images of an area from above. It dates back to the days before satellites, when cameras were attached to pigeons to, quite literally, give us a bird’s eye view of our cities, towns and countryside. Now, in the age of google maps and sat-nav on every smartphone, this once essential process, like many of our traditional skills, it has been repurposed into something weird and wonderful to be used as a creative outlet. And just like the great artists before us, our team of young people at Networked Narrative are using these low-tech skills plus a lot of imagination to recreate the world we live in.
The idea is simple: put your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera in a clear plastic container, set to continuous shooting, attach it to a helium balloon, and then let it fly! (I would recommend keeping hold of the string though, unless you like the adrenalin surge that comes with losing your phone). Assuming you did choose to keep your smartphone/camera, you can use your recorded data to create a sort of photo montage of your area. Congratulations! At Networked Narrative we will be using our own shiny new map to design a Text Adventure Game, which you can read more about here.
So, for anyone interested in making their own balloon mapping device, I recommend attending one of our workshops (click the links to book your place):
Burnley Library on 29th May (11am - 4pm)
Wigan Youth Zone on 19th June (5pm - 9pm)
Hull Central Library on 27th June (11am - 4pm)
Young individuals (aged 13-25) are at the heart of Networked Narrative. Over the next two years, they will work closely with artists Re-dock, FACT, and libraries across the North to actively have a say and influence over the decisions involving three art commissions for both online and public spaces.