Our work this summer is based off the St. Louis Map Room, a community space, active in Spring 2017, for residents from all parts of St. Louis, to both create and explore maps that represented their experiences in the city. The Map Room provided a number of technologies – everything from pens to drawing robots – to help residents express their unique perspectives of St. Louis. An important component of this collective effort was the agency executed by participants, who had the sole responsibility to choose what landmarks or sites they did and did not include. As a result, the Map Room spurned a multitude of discussions about everything from social justice to technology.
A quick comparison of the entrances to the East- (seen from the Ponce City Market entrance) and West-side BeltLine trails:
The task for our project is to develop the Atlanta Map Room, which will be a collaborative space for members of the community to create interpretive maps of the city from contemporary data, historical documents, and personal experiences. Unlike the St. Louis Map Room, our space will enable individuals to evaluate city data in the context of the BeltLine, a large, ongoing urban renewal and transportation initiative undertaken by the City of Atlanta. A former railway corridor, the BeltLine will ultimately be a 22 mile multi-use trail around the core of the city, connecting 45 neighborhoods. However, it arises concerns, like gentrification. Within this context, we aim to provide the resources and atmosphere for people to hold dialog around civic data.