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Murals of Portland Interactive Map


Tools Used: Data dictionary creation, Esri Collector data collection, ArcGIS Online web map and Attachment Viewer App.

Skills Used: Leadership, collaborative decision making, data management, interactive map creation, cartography, evaluating and preparing photos for attachments, drone flight planning.

Sunset Hummingbird by Pattrick Price, 2021

Located at Greenway Park, Beaverton

 Project Description: As Portland Community College GIS Club President in 2019-2020, I developed and led a project  that involved fifteen club members working together to create an interactive map showing the location and images of art murals and information about the artists who created the murals. This project was envisioned as a way for students of different levels of GIS experience to share skills and work collaboratively.

Club officers planned this project during the winter of 2020, and we launched the project in April of 2020, shortly after Covid-19 restrictions were put in place. We had planned to do much of the work in person in the GIS lab, and hold field trips to visit the mural sites and meet the artists, but we had to quickly adapt to working remotely. We adapted our training materials and worked together primarily using Zoom, email, surveys, and Slack. Some of the students were experienced web mappers, but other were beginners. We shared skills, taught each other, and emphasized collaboration. The students contributed many ideas and suggestions that changed the project, and created a better map that was quite different from the one we initially envisioned.

To obtain the data we used Esri Collector to collect points and take photographs in Portland, Tigard, and Beaverton. We worked in teams to conduct research about the murals and artists; to design a custom base layer, collaborate on cartographic design and app functionality to create an Esri web map; and plan and implement photographing some murals using a drone. We ultimately added over 450 murals to the map, and added two additional layers to the art murals layer: Black Lives Matter murals, and murals painted directly on street intersections. Of the murals we mapped, 68% are art murals that reflect a variety of themes; 30% are Black Lives Matter murals found primarily in Downtown Portland that show the impact the Black Lives Matter movement had on Portland’s culture in 2020; and 2% are street intersection murals. This is an ongoing project, and some of us are continuing to add murals as they are painted.

Using the map: when you click a point, it brings up the mural’s photo, and attribute information such as the artist’s name and website. You can expand the photo. Because photos of large murals look distant in the thumbnails, we added a closeup of the mural in the thumbnail, and then a second photo showing the entirety of the mural.

As you move the map, the thumbnails change to show the mural images for that area of Portland. If you hover over a photo thumbnail, the corresponding point on the map is highlighted, so you can see its location.

Image of the Murals of Portland Interactive Map

In November 2020, we were honored to have our murals project featured in PE&RS, the journal published by ASPRS.

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