East Sommerville Community Mapping Project
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The Making of the Map

During the summer of 2005, Somerville Community Corporation worked with a team of interns and community members to collect data and information about East Somerville. This information was then incorporated into a large, 5'x6' map, which has now been turned into this on-line map, in order to tell a story about East Somerville. The goal is to encourage others to interact with the map and each other as they identify what's important, what action steps can we take, as a community, to preserve the good, and change the bad?

The Process:

  1. Collecting Personal Stories:

    25 residents from East Somerville participated in a series of workshops to identify places of personal significance in East Somerville. These participants learned how to use digital cameras and mini-disc recorders to collect photographs and audio clips to describe and show the places they consider important. You can click on the icon of the headphones or the cameral to listen to the audio clips, and look at the photographs corresponding with specific places on the map. Note: different audio clips are conducted in different languages, as this is a community of residents representing many different cultures and ethnicities.
  2. The Survey:

    The team surveyed 274 people from East Somerville to find out things such as: Where do people spend their free time? Where do people shop? Do people spend more than 1/3 of their income on housing?
  3. Observation

    The team walked up and down all the streets in East Somerville to take note of things like: where are the mailboxes, public art, graffiti, etc.? You can find pictures of these things throughout the map (see legend on map).
  4. A Day In The Life of East Somerville:

    On August 25th, 2005, the team captured "a day in the life of East Somerville" by documenting 12 different spots, at four different times of the day. How many pedestrians walked by? Cars? Bicyclists? You can see this information on the by clicking onto the circles with the suns. Each time you click, you will see another time of day.