Mapping Baybrook

September 19th, 2013

Reconstructing the Historical Geography of a Postindustrial Community:

mappingbaybrook.org

Mapping Baybrook is a collaborative and interdisciplinary web-based exploration of place that uses digital mapping to illustrate research on the history and culture of the industrial community in Baltimore, Maryland referred to as Baybrook—a merging of the names of two adjacent neighborhoods, Curtis Bay and Brooklyn. This community is a mix of diverse but connected neighborhoods located along the southeast coastline of Baltimore City. The Greater Baybrook area includes the past and present neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, Fairfield, Hawkin’s Point, Masonville, and Wagner’s Point. The story of Greater Baybrook reflects the tenacity of a community striving for sustainability in the boom-and-bust cycle of U.S. industrial development.

The passionate interest of professors Steve Bradley of UMBC’s Department of Visual Arts and Dr. Nicole King of American Studies at UMBC in the interpretation of changes that have occurred in Baybrook stems directly from their shared interest in issues of place, community and culture. The objectives of this endeavor have been to document and preserve the history, culture, identity, sense of place, and memories of the Baybrook areas and its residents both past and present. The team also aimed to express the history of Baybrook using a dynamic and interactive online and mobile environment. A significant part of the process involved building a custom framework, database, and visual schematic that can archive, organize, and cross-reference the research content dynamically

Another goal of the Mapping Baybrook website is to display the content aesthetically and interactively with a user interface that is integrated with Google Maps. The IRC has continued to develop the website and database, allowing the entry of text, audio, images, and video. This information has been geo-located on a map, chronicled in time, and interconnected with other uploaded data. The site has been populated with over 50 nodes of detailed data points, including multi-media posts, interviews, audio clips, and historical content.

Production Notes
Collaborators: Stephen Bradley and Nicole King, Ph.D.
Designer and Developer: Abbey Salvo
Systems Administrator and Programmer: Mark Jarzynski
Sponsor: UMBC’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Faculty Research Fellowship
Mapping Baybrook Website: http://mappingbaybrook.org