Albuquerque · Central Avenue · Google · Google Earth · Google Maps · Nob Hill · planning · transit · transportation · urban

The Central Avenue Corridor, Albuquerque, NM

In my GEOG 416E geovisualization class, we recently completed a lab. The premise of this lab was based on comparing the properties of Google Map/Google Earth vs. ArcGIS as geovisualization tools. For my project, I decided to do a cultural and spatial interpretation of the Central Avenue corridor in Albuquerque from a urban planning perspective.

Here is the result:

If you click on the “View Albuquerque’s Central Ave. Corridor in a larger map” link, you can gain a better sense of the context of the route. I put place marks along the route on intersections I felt were relevant to the history of Albuquerque. Each of the place marks contain some sort of information about that specific intersection and its relevance.

My main goal with this lab was to show all the different types of land uses that exist along Central. One important aspect of this is the fact that Central used to be a part of Route 66, a historic highway that traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles before the interstate system was constructed. Much of modern day Interstate 40 = old Route 66.

My main motivation for creating this map was my memory of a round table discussion I attended last summer in Albuquerque. A large diverse group of stakeholders gathered in a downtown Albuquerque hotel to discuss the future of the Central corridor. Our primary reason for gathering was the desire to acquire a federal TIGER grant. The grant was to fund transportation and land use improvements along this vital and historic corridor.

After a few meetings, however, it became clear that moving in one single direction would be challenging. This makes sense, as Central is quite possibly one of the most diverse single corridors in the United States. It includes Downtown, Old Town (top tourist attraction), UNM (major university), Nob Hill (art district), the State Fairgrounds and much more.


A conclusion was never reached but the discussions stuck with me.

One group in Albuquerque, The Zipper, has tried to address the diversity of this corridor. They have marketed the Central corridor as a unique and fun place to shop, live and explore. Though they only address a portion of this amazing corridor, they should definitely be included in the process of developing this corridor in the future.

So now I have created this map. I wonder: would the existence of this map benefited the planning process? The ability to visualize place in a project can be quite valuable in these situations.

Look at my map. Click on the place markers. Is it user friendly? Is it educational? Let me know.

Thanks for reading!

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