The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a neat project up on its website: This Place Matters.
“This Place Matters” is a simple Google Map on which any visitor to the site can pin a flag, marking a place that matters to them.
The NTHP says “It could be your favorite local diner or a treasured neighborhood movie palace. How about the school you walked to as a kid; or even your corner grocery store? It could be a project you’ve taken on yourself, or one being championed by a local preservation society, Main Street organization or other community group.”
At its most zoomed out, the map is a riot of colored flags – most of the eastern seaboard is barely visible. Zoom in and there are all sorts of empty spaces. Click on a flag to read about a spot, who submitted it, and why it matters to them. The NTHP hopes to use this map as a tool to encourage preservation – to identify spots in need of saving and to spark a group consciousness and conversation about why historic preservation is important. It might have been an even more powerful experience if there were a way for multiple people to comment on one flag – to react and converse with each other about places that matter to them. It doesn’t appear that Google allows that sort of thing, however.
There are some really wonderful places on the map, but there’s a lot more that needs adding! So, Tufts museum community – what places matter to you?