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The photos on this site are with a few exceptions place-based. The purpose of a place-based visual database is to document the way a city or a place within a city such as its downtown looks at some certain time. This should facilitate study in the present and create a baseline for understanding the dynamics of change from the perspective of time. Photos add a qualitative perspective to the study of urban phenomena, which are often reduced to quantitative measurements.

Transit villages, transit oriented developments and traditional downtowns in cities across the nation, but especially in California and in greater Chicago, are included in the visual database.

The slide shows take a step away from documentation toward interpretation. Slide shows can tell a story, illustrate a point or capture the sense or mood of a place. Montage is used to evoke the sense of a place whereas the visual database isolates a set of concrete images whose details can be closely scrutinized.

Visual Data Base

Chicago Metra Stops

Slide Shows


Coming: Digital Divide in Jersey City