August 10, 2014

Water Maps

Photographs and Blog Post by Paula Hewitt

In the summers of 2013 and 2014 we went on road trips with kids to NYC ponds and reservoirs and to watershed areas upstate. We traced our drinking water from bodies of water upstate to our water fountains and taps in the city. We made 2D and 3D water maps. We used Oasis maps as the base for NYC locations, and USGS maps and travel maps outside the city.

We added 3D topography to blueprints of NYC gardens and rooftops

This blueprint of the Seward Park roof (above) in lower manhattan shows gravity fed water tubes and rainwater harvest tanks.

This 3D model (above) shows an imaginary sinkhole, waterway, and reservoir with topographical elements exaggerated in a cartoonish way

This way we could understand the lines in the topo map above.

We made 3D digital models, using the elevations from a real garden, and showed the reservoirs, ponds, swales, streams and cement water holding tanks under the ground

We superimposed an aerial photo over the 3D digital map so it looks realistic

It's easy to make the topo maps with child safety scissors, a pencil and a rubber mat

Parts of the topographical water maps are moveable, so people can move, rearrange and replace parts of the maps. This helps them understand the map features, by playing with them.