The Massachusetts Digital Atlas is a people-built map of places that matter.  It starts with the premise that individuals in each Massachusetts community know best about what places in their city or town matter to them, their friends, and their families.  The map starts with established historical sites, adds in the places most frequently photographed (using Flickr), and throws in places people are discussing on Twitter.  You can see what people have said about places , and what places they have taken pictures.

But the map is not done because it does not yet have your contribution.   Are there places that are important that you don’t see listed? Why are they important?  The Mass Digital Atlas aims to create a space for communities to engage in conversations about important places in their towns or cities.  We are currently developing a map of places that matter in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Depending on how this pilot program works, we hope to expand our mission to include all municipalities in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Digital Atlas is an initiative funded by the 1772 Foundation. We are based out of the Center for Design Engagement in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and led by Dr. Max Page from UMass Amherst’s Department of Architecture department, and Justin Hollander of Tufts University.

Utilizing ArcGIS technology, data from Flickr and Twitter, our team has created an interactive map that users can contribute to. You can help us by taking photographs of places that matter, providing text for these locations, or commenting on these sites via social media. We hope that communities will share the places that are significant to them with their neighbors and show others what makes their town so special.