Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fruity Maps

A California art collective calling themselves "Fallen Fruit" have created a series of interesting maps with a very specific purpose.

Fallen Fruit approaches a diversity of topics - land use, socioeconomic inequality, environmentalism - using fruit as a focus point. They organize community events and have a variety of media projects that they discuss on their site, ranging from video to audio and print.

The project that they've engaged in that interests me the most, however, is their public fruit maps. I've had to do field mapping myself, and I've given some thought about the many point sources that can be mapped. I'll be mapping stormwater infrastructure in the late winter/early spring using a mobile GIS, and while I'm out I feel like mapping everything: the fire hydrants, street signs, traffic signals, restaurants, pretty girls, and so on. One thing I never would have thought to map is the subject of these maps.

Fallen Fruit's maps are hand-sketched. No GIS for these guys. They've mapped the locations of fruit trees where fruit is available and legal for the public to pick. They cover several American and European cities - none in my neck of the woods, though. Fallen Fruit is featured in a documentary, California Dreaming, describing how their maps help those struggling to make ends meet in California's ongoing financial crisis find a free source of food. As always, it warms my heart to see people putting maps to such excellent use.

1 comment:

  1. Just read a profile on some woman in Oakland, CA who relies on free stuff for nearly everything-food, clothing, transportation. Cool idea, and it's nice to see free "organic" food so accessible like that...though she looks like a hipster mess :)