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Baltimore Green Map's Blog

Baltimore Update

Think Global. Map Local. Hi Tech, low tech, both have their charms.

Low tech works well for outreach. It's fun, immediate, and stimulates interesting conversations. Baltimore Green Map used icon stickers, 4 x 6 cards and a city map to collect new sites to be Green Mapped at Baltimore Office of Sustainability's annual Town Hall on April 18. We learned about several community gardens and orchards that are new to our map and recorded why there is pride in these community accomplishments. This methodology also became the vehicle to learn of several locations where residents see opportunities for major improvements. That points the way to new hyper-local mapping to give voice to their ideas. read more »

Using Icons to Spur Conversations

Chris Halecki, Department of State, and Janet Felsten, Baltimore Green Map

Green Map Icons provide a great prompt to stimulate conversation about climate change issues on a national and even global scale! I just experienced that firsthand when, on January 31, I had the pleasure and responsibility of representing the entire Green Map System at the citizen diplomacy-focused Global Ties U.S. Conference in Washington, D.C. Our panel, Integrating Global Climate Challenges into Local Environment Initiatives, was moderated by Chris Halecki, of U.S Department of State’s Office of International Visitors.

Griffin Thompson, Branch Chief and Senior Climate Change Program Manager, Bureau of Oceans and Environmental and Scientific Affairs, DoS, led off with a summary of current State Department activities. He cited the importance of sub-national action, a realization that some of the most successful mitigation and adaptation strategies happen at the city more »

Engaging with Green Map Icons

With the Druid Hill Park Passport and mapping workshops, we are taking the Green Map icons off the map and onto new places: as stickers to show that a mapped park has really been explored and on the foreheads of young folks assessing the green features of a local arboretum!

Learn more when you check out Baltimore Green Map's latest newsletter .

Passport to Adventure via the Druid Hill Park Green Map

Passport's Inside Front Cover

In 2010 we made a very popular Green Map for a major park in Baltimore, the Druid Hill Park Green Map. So many people admired it, but never went to the park that I was determined to make an activity-oriented passport to encourage full exploration of the park's resources. Last summer I used the Kickstarter crowd-sourced funding platform to raise the major chunk of money needed. And just 2 weeks ago, on April 19, we launched the Passport at a party that also kicked off Baltimore's 10th Annual Green Week.

The major themes of Nature, History, Exercise and Culture delineate activities in four distinct regions of the park. The icons and location on the map are referenced on each page , and colorful icon sticker "stamps" match each activity. We also emphasized volunteer opportunities and are using the stickers as a way to draw people inside the Conservatory, now celebrating its 125th anniversary. Another way we will know it is successful is if we attract more people to join the park's "Friends of..." advocacy more »

Baltimore Green Map Newsletter

Second Graders Survey Their School Grounds

Every so often we manage to publish a newsletter; Here's a link to the latest one:

Reminder to international community - I still hope to create some national/international exchange among school children. Get in touch if you want to get involved.

Druid Hill Park Passport - a Green Mapping Project on Kickstarter

Ever since we made the Druid Hill Park Green Map, I've been wanting to design a passport/activity to go along with it. Tonight I put the project up on Kickstarter, a crowd sourced funding platform. We have 50 days to raise the funds. Take a look!

Here is the Kickstarter link to Druid Hill Park Passport

I think it is a great way to utilize the Green Map icons for enticing people out to discover what is around them. I'd love to hear comments from other Green Mappers ... if you can contribute in a small way, that's great, more »

Mapping Baltimore Green Week 2012

Green Events! Green Organizations! Green Collaborations! Baltimore Green Map is collaborating with Baltimore Green Works to map Baltimore Green Week 2012. (a plethora of "green") As many mapmakers know, it's a great way to capture the geographic dimensions of multiple activities around common themes.

User Comments Enrich Our Maps!

Baltimore Green Map has had maps online via Open Green Map for several years now. Over 60 site nominations have come from map users suggesting other places that should be on the map. And we have attracted some useful and lovely comments about sites mapped. We hope many more people will add relevant comments! Here's a sampling - nostalgic, informative, practical - from the last 45 days:

About "Mother's Garden" in one of our local parks: "My mother, who just passed away at the age of 92, recorded in her memory book of her visits to Mother's Garden. She said there were "roses galore" and it was a favorite place to visit, especially on Sunday afternoons. Sounds like she would have been visiting there when it was still "new"."read more »

BGM at Federal Reserve Bank Richmond Conference on Data Mapping Tools

Baltimore Green Map's Presentation

Baltimore Green Map was invited to present Green Mapping as an example of "How Communities are Using Mapping Tools" at Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's October, 2011 Unleashing the Power of Local Data conference.

Participants had their laptops open for the interactive element, with time to explore Open Green Map.

We combined information from our own archives, OGM screen grabs and the Green Map-OGM Resources/promote section to put together a presentation that illustrated a diversity of map scales and strategies to collect information.

We also wanted to demonstrate full utilization of the OGM features More info, Comments, Multimedia, Impacts before turning participants loose to browse maps on their own. Those user input features are where "the power" and potential of Green Mapping resides. read more »

Mapping a Park to Increase Knowledge, Usage and Expand Stewardship

Druid Hill Park Green Map

Our last map focused on resources in one city watershed and had an inset map of Druid Hill Park, the large central park within that Baltimore watershed. It is a 745-acre park filled with curvilinear drives and distinctly different topography, scenic areas, and activity sites. People tend to know one area but have trouble wrapping their minds around everything the park contains and how to navigate through it. The inset proved so popular that we decided to print a stand-alone map in time for Druid Hill Park's 150th birthday celebration in mid-October. The updated map contains over 65 site entries and uses 17 Green Map icons. And on that map we were able to include a timeline of the park's history and to provide more information about specific resources within the park. We are asking for donations at the map's distribution points both to insure those that pick up the "free" map really want it and to help seed the funding for the next park project, a passport to accompany the more »

Why do I Green Map?

Global Mapmakers, why do YOU Green Map?

It's been almost ten years since I began collaborating with the Green Map System. Lately several people have asked me why I have been so passionate and persistent about this project, so I've decided to share my reasons here:

1) Promote Access to Resources

I had taken my background in architecture, urban planning and education into a new iteration through an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship to map youth resources in Baltimore. I quickly realized that people were unaware of resources mere blocks from where they lived and had a generally negative impression about city youth. So began my search for effective ways to communicate knowledge about existing resources and about the positive actions young people were taking to improve their neighborhoods. For the past decade I've explored different ways to mobilize the Green Map icons to expand knowledge and to Map the Positives! read more »

Campus Green Mapping

Baltimore has a consortium of campuses involved in various collaborative efforts under the Baltimore Collegetown Network. Most local campuses have Sustainability Commissions these days, so we have launched the Baltimore Collegetown Green Map Challenge with a fabulous pilot project at Towson University. Print maps were the focus. The students are eloquent in speaking of the benefits they realized from doing this project in their Graphic Design Studio. Their professor, Jessica Ring, was a wonderful more »

Event Mapping

As an experiment, we created the Baltimore Green Week 2009 map on the OGM. It used icons to describe the topic content of events rather than to describe places, then illustrated the geographic distribution of those events. The organization Baltimore Green Works used it on their website along with a traditional Calendar of Events. Seemed successful and now is a record to refer to when planning next year's events. And we'll be able to offer it with tour routes for 2010.

Is anyone planning summer youth projects?

(or winter if you are southern hemisphere....)
Is anyone planning any youth mapping projects this summer and interested in doing an info exchange with some Baltimore 8-14 year-olds?
I think it would be cool to exchange experiences and images with young folks from an entirely different environment as we do a neighborhood mapping project here.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore Green Map announces debut of first print map

The Jones Falls Trail Green Map will make its debut at the Jones Falls Watershed Association's Rally for the River! festival on September 21st, 2008. Our map uses 30 Green Map icons to highlight "Discover & Enjoy!" mappable resources on one side and lists the "Learn and Take Action!" resources on its reverse. It includes a green-mapped inset of Druid Hill Park, our 756-acre central park.

The festival typically attracts 5000 people. It closes part of the interstate highway to allow a few hours of intense pedestrian and wheeled activity, food, music, and boat journeys and frog races down the stream below the more »

Baltimore Green Map website is launched!

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Baltimore Green Map introductory website at We are using 48 of the V3 icons and presenting all an opportunity to Nominate a Site. An interview with Wendy Brawer and me (Baltimore Project Director) will be aired on our local public radio station in time to be part of the Baltimore Festival of Maps. We'll post that as soon as available. Thanks to Wendy for years of encouragement and to our hero Thomas for responding so quickly to suggestions as we deployed the beta Online Green Map as part of our site.