The Bridge Launches Balloon to Map Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

The Bridge Launches Balloon to Map Charlottesville

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Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative  at 209 Monticello Road in Charlottesville. Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative at 209 Monticello Road in Charlottesville.

The Bridge Progressive Art Initiative is taking a closer look at Charlottesville - from 500 feet in the air. 

Images were taken Friday by a camera attached to a balloon. 

"We're trying to get a really robust picture of how people understand Charlottesville," said Matthew Slaats, executive director of The Bridge. It's all part of a unique project called MapLab.

"MapLab is an opportunity for the community to tell us how they know and understand the city of Charlottesville," Slaats said. 

The project is seeking answers to everything from what's missing in Charlottesville to what everyone's favorite spot is. It digs deeper than a typical census does. 

"Tell us a little bit about how they know Charlottesville, primarily through their senses, so how do you feel about Charlottesville? Is there an emotional piece to it? What do you see? What do you hear what do you smell?" Slaats said. 

The project spans over the next two months and includes themed walking tours aimed to generate conversations. Some tours will be random while others will focus on specific resources. 

"We'll walk through Charlottesville and look for things that we can eat that might be out in the public and gather those up maybe and make something out of it so we can eat it," Slaats said. 

At the end of the project The Bridge will present a visual report that draws out how people perceive the city. 

Instead of typical reports that contain a lot of numbers, The Bridge says this will generate feedback and will be a way to gauge progress in the city. 

The group hopes to make this project an annual event. 

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