The Black Elevation Map is a data visualisation project that elevates Black cultural data

The incredible project allows users to search thousands of places of interest via The Black Elevation Map site. Featuring 12 curated city guides and 10 national guides, the platform also spotlights categories such as Black-owned wineries (“Melanin Vines”), notable start-up companies (“Black Silicon Valley”) and restaurants that fuelled civil rights (“Civil Bites”). Beyond functioning as a resource for discovery, the map is taking steps towards countering the oppressive history of mapmaking.
“From redlining to modern urban planning, you don’t have to look far to see the ways in which maps have been used to marginalise, divide and oppress communities around the world,” says Eric Martin, chief creative officer and co-founder at Black & Abroad, in a release. “We wanted to help Black travellers see the country in a way that prioritises and celebrates the contributions of folks who look like us – and facilitates travel choices that deepen engagement within our community. Repurposing a traditional elevation map is a way for us to weave joy and uplift into the story, the experience and our interpretation of the data.”
Travel and lifestyle company Black & Abroad has worked with Performance Art, the creative-data ad agency, and designer Tré Seals, founder of diversity driven foundry Vocal Type, to launch a data-led domestic travel platform that prioritises and spotlights Black cultural contributions. The project, entitled The Black Elevation Map, visualises cultural data, including Black population data, historical markers, Black-owned businesses and social media activity, “as points of interest on a dynamic, searchable elevation map of the United States”, the release explains.

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