Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baltimore Festival of Maps-Final Words

One final post about the Baltimore Festival of Maps and then I will get back to the normal Map of the Week schtick. My last two posts were about the Maps: Finding Our Place in the World exhibit at the Walters. However, this is a festival of maps and that means lots of additional events and exhibits, few of which I had time for after seeing the main exhibit.
I was really looking forward to the Maps on Purpose exhibition because I am a big fan of these type of community mapping projects. After all who can resist this map of the Oakenshawe neighborhood? Every few weeks they change the focus to a few selected Baltimore neighborhoods. My week the theme was "Neighbors". There were a number of displays about personal connections within neighborhoods, some of it based on the Arpanet map from the Maps exhibit. Interesting, but not very mappy. There was one cool map of the Hamilton Hills/Lauraville neighborhood.

The map shows income and other variables by block and is surrounded by pictures, stories and commentary by area residents. This was easily the highlight if this exhibition for me.
By the time I was able to make it to the Mapping the Cosmos Hubble Telescope exhibit I was exhuasted and all I coul do was stare at the pretty pictures. Some explanantion about the color manipulations used to create these would have been helpful but I wouldn't have had the mental energy to absorb it anyway at that point.
Of course there are lots of other things going on outside of the Walters including Borders & Boundaries: The Mason-Dixon Line at the Maryland Historical Society - a display of the original map showing this boundary. I did not have time to see this one but it's there until June 29th. I would also like to get to A People's Geography: The Spaces of African American Life at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum - this exhibit will continue until September 7th so there's still time. We did make it up to the top of the World Observation Level for 387 Feet Above, another community mapping type exhibit. It had a few interesting map ideas but the main attraction was the fab view of the Harbor from the 27th Floor. From up there I was able to map out the way out of town on a busy holiday weekend and with that I said a fond farewell to Baltimore and the Festival of Maps.

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