From barbecue and fountains to the mafia and racial divides, the entries in our Infinite KC Mapmaking Contest spanned the spectrum of culture, history, and geography.
It was an appropriately diverse spread, in fact, given that the contest’s grand prize is a signed copy of Rebecca Solnit’s colorful and variegated book of maps and essays, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas.
When Solnit discusses InfiniteCity tonight at the Central Library at 6:30 p.m., we will present a signed copy of the book and a freshly printed 1911 map of Kansas City from the Gallup Map Co. to the winner of our contest (which we’ll get to in a minute).
Over the past week, we’ve been asking our fans on Facebook and Twitter to use Solnit’s book as a jumping-off point to come up with their own ideas of themed maps of Kansas City. It could be maps featuring favorite haunts of today, ghosts of the past, maps showing KC’s demographic diversity, or … whatever folks could dream up. The guidelines were pretty open.
By the contest’s deadline today at noon, we had 11 great entries, and it was difficult for our judge, Eli Paul, Missouri Valley Special Collections manager, to choose just one. But after some intense deliberation in Eli’s office on the 5th floor of the Central Library, a decision was made.
Congratulations to amateur cartographer and local history buff April Fleming!
April’s idea was for a “comprehensive, interactive” map of downtown Kansas City and the River Market showing buildings that have come and gone and how the streets have changed over time.
“It’s got most of my favorite architecture in the city,” April said. (She even provided a link to her favorite intersection in the Missouri Valley digital gallery.)
Eli agreed with April.
“She’s asking a question that I’ve always had, which is how the downtown Kansas City of the late 19th and early 20th centuries compares to today,” Eli says. “By singling out the Junction – as the intersection of 9th, Main, and Delaware was then called – she chose an excellent fixed point for looking at a lost landscape of our city. Her map idea has a good combination of geography and time, and I’d love to see it made.”
Until April’s map gets drawn – online or otherwise – check out the other submissions below. And be sure to get down to the Library tonight to learn about San Francisco’s imaginative landscapes when Rebecca Solnit discusses InfiniteCity.
All Infinte KC Reader Contest Entries
Kate Barsotti: A map with nothing but local businesses, nonprofits, galleries, and parks.
Linda Blaha-Kemnitzer: A series of transparent maps highlighting ethnic neighborhoods and enclaves featuring community buildings, memorials, art work, service organizations,
parks, restaurants, etc., for the years 1850, 1900, 1950, and 2012.
Patrick Carroll: A “When You Get to Kansas City” map that shows where immigrant ethnic groups have settled after moving to Kansas City.
April Fleming (winner): An interactive, comprehensive map of downtown Kansas City and the River Market, showing changes over time.
Kim Fallen: A map of locally owned eateries by section of town (Crossroads, Plaza, etc.).
Peter Gogol: A map of local road-running race courses overlaid with the under-18 population of the city's neighborhoods.
Nicole Kirby: “A map of all the gangster residences and businesses over time. It was fun to read The Mafia and the Machine with Google Maps handy to look up all the locations.”
Hayden Murphey: A map showing the locations of fountains and barbecue restaurants in KCMO.
Rhonda Roosa A map illustrating Kansas City's green spaces in comparison to household income (the idea being that not all parks are in wealthy neighborhoods).
Bryan Stalder: A comic-strip map of the historic Northeast.
Jim Valladinham: A map (already created) showing the racial fragmentation of Kansas City, along with integration hotspots.
About the Author
Jason Harper is the web content developer and social media manager at the Kansas City Public Library.