Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Locals and Tourists #14 (GTWA #7): Boston, Eric Fischer

I just heard about the work of Eric Fischer, a programmer in the San Francisco area who has created a series of maps of major cities showing where people take photographs. Because the public photo-sharing websites Flickr and Picasa enable geo-tagging of the images people upload, Fischer was able to create maps that show the hot-spots—the places that are photographed by many people every day. This is interesting for my research because it could help city museums visualize the urban spaces that are most important to the public—the places that possess a high amount of social capital, the ones we want to remember.

As if that weren’t enough, Fischer took it one step further and used the timestamps on photos to divide them into those taken by tourists and those taken by locals.   (more…)

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City Branding

A tagline on the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau website reads: “America’s birthplace. History’s showcase. The past is present in Boston.” Meanwhile, Frommers.com calls Boston “relentlessly historic.” And Fodors.com says “to Bostonians, living in a city that blends yesterday and today is just another day in their beloved Beantown.” History is the core of Boston’s brand.

Consequently, I have found it interesting to move to a city that doesn’t particularly consider itself historic. Turku maybe, but not Helsinki. (more…)

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In mid-March I spent a week in Berlin, at a conference for Fulbright fellows from all over Europe. In between sessions I did some exploring: the city museum, the Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, the Jewish Museum, Checkpoint Charlie, and a strange, edutainment site called “The Story of Berlin.”

What that week showed me is that for Berlin history, there is only one game in town: the Wall. (more…)

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The Helsinki City Museum

While I am here I am working informally with the Helsinki City Museum, exchanging information and ideas. So far I have visited three of their ten sites, met with the senior staff, and toured two storage facilities. I will write much more about their work in coming days, but for now, a want to give a few first impressions.

I can’t help but start with the fact that the Helsinki City Museum is considerably larger than its Boston counterpart, in every way: (more…)

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Why Helsinki?

Everyone asks me this. On some level there are many cities in which I could conduct this research. But there are some interesting parallels to be made between Boston and Helsinki.

First, they are more or less the same age, which is rare when comparing North American and European cities. (more…)

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Where I’m Coming From

I have been working in the museum field in the US since 1996. Over the years my responsibilities have included collections management, curation, and museum administration. Before I embarked on this Fulbright adventure, I was running this museum in downtown Boston, Massachusetts:


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