An image showing a Google map of Chattanooga superimposed with “judgmental labels” is being shared across social media platforms this week.
And judgmental it is. But fortunately, no group or area is spared.
From the “people and gnomes” of Lookout Mountain to the “attempted gentrification” of the Brainerd Corridor, each area of the city is assigned a possibly offensive label that highlights the worst perceived attribute of the location.
The North Shore is simply labeled “hipster,” while Moccasin Bend is highlighted for “golf and stink.” The Southside is “gentrified to a level of inconvenience,” and St. Elmo is riddled with “pioneer hipsters,” according to the map.
A similar map of Nashville has also made the rounds this week.
The creator of Chattanooga’s map is Logan Carmichael. He works for Brewer Media as an on-air personality for Cat Country 95.3 FM out of Ooltewah.
Carmichael saw the Nashville map and thought it would be funny to create a Chattanooga version.
“I just got bored one night, sat down and loaded Photoshop,” he said. “I labeled it based on what I’ve noticed and how people have perceived Chattanooga.”
As a longtime resident of Chattanooga, Carmichael learned about the different areas of town from his own experience and listening to guests call in to the radio stations he worked for.
“We all know those parts of town that we’ve labeled,” he said. “I lived in Highland Park for 12 years, and people are like, ‘Oh, you live in Mexico,’ or they make a joke about it.”
Most of the labels came easy for Carmichael, he said.
“There were a few of them I had to think about,” he said. “For example, [in] Harrison, it seems like everybody owns a boat up there. So I went with that.”
There are some labels he wanted to change. He wanted to use the phrase “aquatics and fish” for downtown, but he didn’t have the space. He thought about including the word “penguins” in there, too.
Similar maps of other cities have appeared on a website called JudgmentalMaps.com.
Trent Gillaspie is a part-time comedian based out of Austin, Texas. He recently moved to Austin from Denver and was responsible for creating the first of the judgmental maps and the website.
The map garnered more than 60,000 views in the first three days. His website provides a place where people can share maps of other cities and have a chance to judge their own cities. He also sells copies of the uploaded maps on the website.
In an interview with Denver’s Westword publication, Gillaspie said people automatically assumed that he might live in the “cool kids” area of the city, but that wasn’t the case:
I’ve lived in a few different areas around Denver, and I’ve explained neighborhoods to people with stereotypes. So I thought, “Why not just have a map for it that sort of pokes fun and uses a little humor, something that puts a little of it out on the line in being blunt with stereotypes, too?” I tried not to leave anyone out. I didn’t want it to be unfair.
Joel Ruiz is a local comedian and founder of Evatt & Bloom productions. He said he liked the map.
“I thought it was very accurate, and I think everyone was nailed pretty well,” he said. “‘Mexico’ is my favorite. I would add the ‘drug’ tag to more places.”
Perhaps the most offensive aspect of the map has nothing to do with the labeling. The word “judgmental” is misspelled in bold red text.
Carmichael said he understands how such an egregious error like that may have occurred.
“This is what happens when you try to do spelling on sleep medication,” he said.