Finding America in Main St.

In a post yesterday, IdeaFestival 2006 and 2007 participant Ethan Zuckerman blogged about a new media project, "Mapping Main Street," which is documenting a history of the United States using its 10,466 "main streets."

Of the many listed reasons for the project, this one appealed. Ethan:

[Harvard PhD student] James [Burns], trained as an economist, argues that a belief in causal relationships leads to a reductive understanding of data, data as a descriptor of cause. By playing with a data set 'that no sane economist would ever be interested in,' James hopes to understand data in a more complex, less reductive fashion.  

The group accepts submissions to its Main Street Flickr pool, according to Ethan. The collaboration was also featured on NPR's Weekend Edition in August.