NPR logo Mapping Main Street

Mapping Main Street

When politicians mention Main Street, they evoke one people and one place. But there are over 10,466 streets named Main in the United States.

Starting next Saturday on Weekend Edition, we'll be launching a new project called Mapping Main Street. Over the next two months, we'll be airing stories from Main Streets across the country created by Peabody-award winning producers Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler. We'll also be asking you to contribute your own photos, videos and stories from Main Streets near you.

The Mapping Main Street team started exploring Main Streets this summer, driving more than 12,000 miles throughout the United States. Every Main Street was a little different—from the discovery of autographed photos of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis in a dilapidated house in West Virginia to conversations with a transvestite prostitute in Chattanooga to breakfast truck owners serving up menudo on the Mexican border.

We'd love to have you collaborate in this mass documentary project by visiting one of the thousands of Main Streets yourself and taking a photo or video. The only requirement for participation is that all photos, videos and interviews must be recorded on a street named Main Street. Take a look at the project's website at You can view content from participants across the country and use the site to find Main Streets in your neck of the woods. You can also receive updates by becoming a fan on facebook.

Mapping Main Street is generously funded by MQ2, an initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project is also supported with funds from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Mapping Main Street is created by Ann Heppermann, Kara Oehler, Jesse Shapins and James Burns, with help from Josie Holtzman, Sara Pellegrini and Ian Gray.