Mapping places and connections
Below is a summary of the main mapping projects that led to development of the Exploring EC1 initiative. Other pages cover:
Specific mapping tools - Humap, Maphub and Google Earth
A map to record favourite places in EC1
Personal collaborative projects
Since 2015 I've explored, with Drew Mackie and Barbara Brayshay, the use of geographic and network maps to help residents and others find out more about what's happening in their area, share ideas and information, and collaborate on improvements.
Overall the aim has been to experiment with different tools for gathering and displaying information about places, organisations and people. Put more grandly, it's about revealing the physical and social ecosystems of neighbourhoods. More here on that.
From 2015-2019 work was partly through the Networked City initiative, and partly through two local projects, one in Clerkenwell, and one in Thames Ward, Barking. I later developed maps in Clerkenwell, Farringdon and Smithfield. More on EC1 below.
The idea of developing maps for EC1 started with some work in 2018 for the Clerkenwell Peel Institute, where Drew Mackie and I explored the use of both network and geographic maps to support what later became the Connecting Clerkenwell initiative. I also met up with Mike Franks, who I had helped, back in 1977, secure funding for a heritage trail. More here, in the EC1 Echo, together with the idea of Clerkenwell Commons.
Inspired by Mike’s ideas for Clerkenwell Commons, I set up this site, which includes:
A version of the Clerkenwell Commons trail, with 360 photos, using an Esri classic storymap.
A Google Earth flyover, created by my son Dan
A gallery of trail content, using Airtable
I also used Esri storymaps to create
a map of the Culture Mile venues used in the Sound Unbound programme.
A different style of map for Culture Mile locations.
Culture Mile is the City of London’s new cultural district, stretching from Farringdon to Moorgate. Led by the City of London Corporation, with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, the five partners are together creating a vibrant, creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile. More here about +Culture Mile
Click images to open this map and the others
Mapping Urban Wild Places
Further north in Islington, in 2020 Drew Mackie and I worked with Octopus Communities, a network of community centres, to develop maps and stories about their Urban Wild Places and We Can Grow projects to support community gardens. The aim was to show, for an evaluation report, how work on the projects had yielded both environmental benefits and new networks of social connections.
We set up a simple Google sites website to host:
Stories about gardens, using photos, audio and video
Create Streets interactive maps
In 2020 I worked with Create Streets in Thames Ward and EC1 to set up versions of their mapping system which enabled people, very simply, to highlight problems or opportunities for improvement (Thames Ward) or favourite places (EC1).
Smithfield Market is due to move to a new location in Dagenham Dock within the next decade, and before that some of the out-of-use market building will provide a new home for the Museum of London. Peter Bill covered the story for the March 2020 edition of the EC1 Echo
Peter's story nudged me to write a piece for the Echo about mapping the past, present the future of Smithfield, Farringdon and Clerkenwell, published in the May 2020 edition of the Echo. By that time the pandemic was gathering pace, and that slowed development of what has become Exploring EC1. More about that here. By then the proposed Centre for Music, illustrated here, had been abandoned - but plans for the Museum move and Culture Mile development continued.
Maphub is a free/low cost system that offers improvements on marker-based Google My Maps. Click map above to open the EC1 example. More here on Maphub pricing.
Humap is a sophisticated storymapping system used for the Layers of London project. Click map above to open the EC1 example. More here for Humap examples and pricing.
Details of exploring EC1