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Live Talk: Same Data, Different Stories
May 14

Live Talk: Same Data, Different Stories

Curator Garrett Dash Nelson talks with guest Maggie Owens, Principal Research Analyst and Planner for the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the creator of one of the “Data Stories” maps commissioned for the exhibition.

“Data Stories” is a collaborative exhibition component that was commissioned by the Leventhal Center to bring the show’s theme into a contemporary context. Geographic datasets about Massachusetts were offered to high-profile cartographers and data designers around the country, each of whom agreed to develop two competing but equally persuasive cartographic narratives. Using design tools and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, the cartographers created maps and data visualizations; the resulting work underscores how mapmakers’ perspectives influence the products they make.

Viewers are invited to explore the online show and listen to Angles on Bending Lines: Curator Conversations, a series of interactive events hosted by Leventhal Center’s Curator of Maps and Director of Geographic Scholarship Garrett Dash Nelson, and featuring guests who give context to the exhibition’s themes and content. These events will be streamed live on the Leventhal Center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, then archived on YouTube. Please RSVP to receive a link sent to your email.


Maggie Owens is a Planner and Analyst with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Her passion lies in exploring the cult of data and its power to construct and disseminate narratives about the ‘way things are.’ In particular, she is interested in how data is being used to liberate or restrict our ability to imagine a better world.

Serving at the Parks Department, Maggie works to place issues of equity and storytelling front and center through collaboration, a critical and judicious use of data, and accessible visualizations. Cartography is a useful and oft-needed tool in this process. And so, Maggie hopes to find new ways of producing community-based cartographic illustrations that are easily shared by all.

Garrett Dash Nelson is the Curator of Maps & Director of Geographic Scholarship at the Leventhal Map & Education Center.