Mapping Main Street


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When politicians and the media mention Main Street, they evoke one people and one place. But there are over 10,466 streets named Main in the United States.

Mapping Main Street is a collaborative documentary media project that creates a new map of the country through stories, photos and videos recorded on actual Main Streets. We invite you to capture the stories and images of the country today. Go out, look around, talk to people, and contribute to this re-mapping of the United States.

The goal of this project is to document every street named Main in the country. This means going to each of these 10,466 places, snapping recording a video. An absurd idea for a small group of people, but only a semi-ridiculous ambition in this era of collective intelligence.

Anyone can contribute to this project. The only requirement is that all photos and videos must be taken on a street named Main. Use this map to find streets named Main near where you live or where you are traveling.

Tag all your videos with the following words:

- mappingmainstreet
- name of place where you took the photo (e.g. chattanooga)
- name of state where you took the photo (e.g. tennessee)
- any words you feel describe the image or videos (e.g. people, ruin, sign, etc.)

In August, three radio stories will air on NPR’s Weekend Edition. At the same time, we’ll be launching a new website that vividly features all of the photographs, videos and stories contributed by people across the country.

Mapping Main Street is produced through the generous funding of Maker’s Quest 2.0, an initiative between the Association of Independent’s in Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project is also supported with funds from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

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