Social Media & Parks

parks.stamen.com, a partnership between Stamen Design and the Electric Roadrunner Lab image: Jon Christensen
parks.stamen.com, a partnership between Stamen Design and the Electric Roadrunner Lab
image: Jon Christensen

This post highlights one of the presentations to be made at the National Association for Olmsted ParksFrederick Law Olmsted Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century – A Vision for the American West symposium at Stanford University on March 27-28, 2014. ASLA is a symposium partner.

Tuning into Social Media Emanating from Parks and Open Spaces

Stories pour out of parks every day. In California, we’re listening at parks.stamen.com. From family vacations in a national park to mornings at the dog run and lazy days on the beach, Californians live their lives outdoors—and share their experiences online on Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and Foursquare.

Working with Stamen Design in San Francisco, we’ve taken the actual shape of every park in California and used it as a window to watch and listen to social media streaming out of every park and open space in the state. From the tiny, urban pocket park down the street to huge Stanislaus National Forest—the state’s biggest!—this project bears witness to a simple story a million different ways: parks are part of people’s lives in California.

We hope that this project helps connect Californians with their parks—from the liveliest and loudest to the quiet and secluded—and that park rangers, managers, and advocates find these stories and connect with the Californians who use and love their parks.

We’ll be unveiling parks.stamen.com at the National Association for Olmsted ParksFrederick Law Olmsted Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century – A Vision for the American West symposium at Stanford University on March 27, 2014. The setting is appropriate. Olmsted conducted a statewide survey and created the first plan for the California State Park system in 1929. Today that system is in crisis. In recent years, the state parks agency has been plagued by financial and management problems. A blue ribbon commission is currently holding hearings around the state to map out a path to sustainability for state parks.

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