Friday, February 27, 2015

Locative Stories in Manhattan

Recently in New York Magazine, there was a mention of the Manhattan Before 1990 photo sharing group labelled "Brilliant" and "Highbrow."

Known for its impressive photos, mysterious locations identified, and great audience of photographers, art curators, historians, bloggers and local experts, I've been participating daily for much of the year posting some of the 1.5 million items I've mapped.  New York City is second to no other city in media assets available for curation.

The original, hard-to-find,  and exclusive photos this photo-sharing group offers are compelling daily. The regular identification of locations (content cartography)  kept me intrigued daily. The geo-sleuthing is unrivaled. But the addiction of this group has proven to be the live storytelling at places connecting people who offer unique personal stories.

Here is a sample locative story-telling experience.

A social media user shares a unique photo of Manhattan with photo credit, name of person, year and location.

There is an opportunity to like, share and comment to move the post up in the feed.

A photo thread offers new perspectives of the location and further identifies it as 7th Ave and 41st Street at and pinpoints the date further as June 1980.  More info is added. This is where Basquiat first had a public exhibit. 

Connections of people who were there surface including Fab Five Freddy himself aka Fred Braithwaite who tells us what he was doing in the photo.

Fab Five Freddy was featured in Blondie's video and song Rapture.

Others contribute to describe the area. "The scene" is re-created in the comment section.

The group has rapidly grown to nearly 12,000 members over the last few months.  It is one of the rare locative photo-sharing places I have seen with a daily habit formed. This is content cartography at its best.

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