Monday, April 6, 2015

Reflections - 4/6/15

Last week, Aletheia Shin of MICA spoke to us about her art and research about the Korean community in Baltimore, and how it interfaces with the rest of the city. Aletheia brought a very interesting and refreshing perspective to our classroom; in that she truly was a student from abroad studying in the U.S., even though she grew up between America and Korea. Perspectives such as Shin's always fascinate me because I have lived in Baltimore my whole life, making it challenging to imagine her history of moving back and forth from place to place. 

Aletheia's outreach and art aims to bridge the gap between Koreans in Baltimore, creating a more interconnected community with a sense of balance. I found this to be very important especially in a city like Baltimore, where immigrants and diversity reinforce the city itself when older populations shrink and/or circulate outwards. As we have seen in many other great cities like New York or Los Angeles, ethnic enclaves are hot spots of growth and success, which can only help a city thrive. For Baltimore, Aletheia's work stemming from the city's public markets demonstrated the importance of having a common shared space with all types of people. Overall, I gained insight on the workings of the Korean community of Baltimore, and how community can be interpreted as social connections and ties formed over temporary places of activity and commerce.

In terms of our group, we have made significant progress with our map research and database. The rest of the group has completed summaries and collected the addresses of our Station North locations. I was able to enter in the places that we already have into a KML spreadsheet that will be imported into our map system. While doing this, I have made multiple columns including the 1) place name 2) address, and 3) type of place. This week I plan on talking to Mike about additional data that could be added, as well as how we want to display our information. After playing with our Google Map a bit, I organized our places by type (food, entertainment, residence, and community). I gave each type a temporary icon related to the place function (i.e. silverware, music note, etc.) This could be a unique way to show our places, and may also be more user-friendly. I look forward to meeting with the group this week to discuss ideas! 

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