Google Earth is already a remarkable repository of images of our planet, but the company is looking to add even more viewpoints — last week, Google published the first images it collected that were shot from balloons and kites. These images came from The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, an organization that already participates in grassroots mapping exercises, with the average citizen able to contribute images to The Public Laboratory's archive. The Public Laboratory even sells a DIY balloon mapping kit, so anyone with a digital camera can send it aloft to capture and contribute images to its project. There's also a software tool that allows users to stitch their pictures together and align them into a "georeferenced" image. Google's adding more and more of the Public Laboratory's images to Google Earth, so if you want to contribute, just get your camera rigged up to a balloon or kite and send your images on over — we'd recommend investing in a beater camera for this, in case your balloon has a rough landing.