Mark Twain House in Hartford adopts a Google map of Twain's America

Terry Ballard, Systems librarian at New York Law School's Mendik Library has spent years on a project of creating a Google map that reflects the places in America where Mark Twain lived and worked. The map follows him from his childhood home in Hannibal, Missouri to his years as a teenager visiting the great cities of the east coast. As a young man he was in New Orleans booking passage to South America in search of wealth and adventure. He decides at the last minute to become a riverboat pilot instead. When the Civil War brought down that occupation, he headed west to live in Nevada - pursuing mining unsuccessfully and writing very successfully.

In San Francisco, his writings about police injustice got him in trouble with the law, and he had to hide out for a time in Calaveras County, where he discovered the story that would cement his career as a writer - "The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County." As a successful author, he lived most notably in his mansion in Hartford, but had repeated stays in Manhattan, the Bronx and Upstate. The map makes extensive use of photographs from members of the Mark Twain Forum.

Ballard is extremely grateful for the adoption of his work by the Mark Twain House & Museum. Steve Courtney from the Twain House wrote: "Terry Ballard, librarian, Twain collector, and Google Earthling extraordinaire, has built a guide to the many, many locations that Samuel L. Clemens visited during the course of his long life and varied travels." Eventually, Ballard hopes to integrate images from the museum's enormous collection into the map.

The map can now be seen at http://g.co/maps/kfgpq

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