Mapping Cville

Jordy Yager , 2019 , JSAAHC

In the summer of 2018, I received a grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to fund a project for the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center (JSAAHC) that maps inequities in Charlottesville from past to present.

Ultimately, this project will live online, as an exhibition at the JSAAHC, and as part of a broader curriculum unit in area schools. It will have many different maps and layers for people to interact with, so that we can see how the patterns and decisions of the past impact our realities and outcomes today. Through maps, I’m hoping that we can begin to see the bigger, more complicated, structures and decisions that have gotten us to where we are today — so that we may better think about where we want to go tomorrow.

The project will undoubtedly span many years, evolving in ways both predicted and unforeseen, so this blog will chronicle that journey, noting its progress along the way as well as some of the more interesting discoveries and developments.

I’m using ArcGIS as our software, and Chris Gist and the team at UVA’s Digital Scholars Lab have graciously given me a thorough crash-course in how to geo-reference old property records.

  • Jordy Yager
  • Photography
  • Photography
  • The exhibition is made possible through the support of the Jefferson School Heritage Center

The project will contain mostly map inequity in the Charlottesville region.

The first map of the project will plot all of the deeds from 1888-1968 that included a racial covenant clause, prohibiting the sale of property to African Americans. To follow the project, please visit 

The Mapping Cville project will live online as an exhibition at the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Center.

Jefferson Heritage African American Center © 2020. All Rights Reserved