Bird’s Eye View & Parish Map

In 2009, TIMA brought Sue Clifford, founder and director of the Common Ground organization in England, to Eastport, Maine and surrounding communities to present a series of workshops about her organization’s work on developing community based parish maps. Building on the success of these workshops, TIMA began an initiative to undertake the development of a combined Parish Map and Bird’s Eye View for Eastport, Maine. Click here to view the TIMA produced Parish Map poster detailing Sue Clifford’s 2009 visit.

Six years ago, TIMA commissioned artist, architect and architectural historian, Kirsten Sparenborg Brinton (now of Tacoma, Washington), to create a new contemporary bird’s eye view and parish map of Eastport. In 2012, she spent time in Rome to study the history of bird’s eye view maps. TIMA had earlier commissioned Sparenborg Brinton to hand draw a large scale streetscape drawing of Eastport’s 30 building downtown National Register Historic District that was completed in 2011.

Bird’s Eye View aerial maps were very popular in the 19th century with most larger towns and cities having one. Eastport had one produced by the J. J. Stoner Company of Wisconsin in 1879. Now, more than a century later, Sparenborg Brinton has painstakingly hand drawn each building, street, shoreline and wharf of today’s Eastport that make up the map. For the Eastport map, she has relied on aerial photographs supplied by TIMA, Christopher Boyer of Kestrel Aerial Services, and extensive use of Google Street View. Sparenborg Brinton describes her process of developing the Eastport bird’s eye view map in her blog. Not all of Eastport is included in the new map, only about two-thirds.

The bird’s eye view part of the draft map has now been completed and can be seen below. The draft map is now in the process of being entirely redrawn and finalized. An initial series of hand drawn illustrations framing the map that highlight unique features of Eastport still need to be finalized as well. Draft explanatory background text to the map as well as a numbered key list to buildings and locations on the map also need to finalized.

TIMA expects the full map to be completed by the spring of 2018. Full size versions of the map will be digitally produced for display in public locations. Smaller size versions of the map will be produced for sale, just like the 1879 map was, as a detailed recorded view of a place in time.

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