Maps: Tracking the Best of Indiana, South Bend and Beyond …

By Staff • March 2nd, 2017

Where are the best places to hike? Best co-working spaces? Best tourist attractions?

Our team takes you on a tour of what to do around South Bend and Indiana with these maps.

Great Parks Near South Bend

Those seeking to escape the city life of South Bend can make the short drive to any of these great county and state parks just outside the city limits, like Saint Patrick’s County Park and Madeline Bertrand State Park, which lie just across the Indiana-Michigan border from each other. They’re just a short, 10-minute drive away from downtown.

Those seeking a more adventurous afternoon can visit some of the other parks on this list, all of which are within an hour’s drive of downtown South Bend. — Zach Klonsinski

10 Must-Visit Literary Locations in and Around Indianapolis

Whether you want to learn more about Naptown native Kurt Vonnegut, buckle-down and find a solitary corner of a library to get some work accomplished, or kick back with a nice cold one and a book, Indianapolis has got you covered.

This map of Indianapolis and a few surrounding cities displays 10 locations that book-loving Hoosiers must visit. Monthly poetry readings, a library converted into a restaurant, and craft-beers named after books are just a few of the literary-related items Indiana has to offer. — Lauren Fox

Indiana Museums to Visit

There’s plenty to see and do all throughout Indiana, from the northern part in South Bend, to the capital city of Indianapolis, to the southern city of Evansville. Using information from TripAdvisor, this map illustrates the best museums to visit in Indiana.

A big part of Indiana’s culture and history is the automobile industry, and that’s reflected in the map. Five of the ten museums pertain to cars, while the rest cover science, history and the arts.

Scroll through the map and click the pins to see each museum’s name, location, description and a YouTube video. — Kevin Culligan

Co-working Spaces Flourish in South Bend

Co-working is the startup’s testing ground. Less expensive than leasing a whole office and more focused than working from home, coworking offers space for individual workers and small companies to get the job done.

Co-working spaces started in larger cities but have started to flourish in smaller places such as South Bend. The eight co-working spaces mapped below have different membership structures, different setups and different communities to serve, whether entrepreneurs, employees who only need occasional office space, students, artists or the people on the cutting edge of tech. — Emily McConville

10 Interesting Things to Do in South Bend

Featured on the map are 10 interesting locations in South Bend. Each location is either an educational or community building opportunity in the city. All are family-friendly and affordable.

While sports events often attract tourists to South Bend, there are many other local events of historical, environmental and artistic interest.

For example, the Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest in Indiana. The History Museum and Studebaker National Museum both host interesting permanent and traveling exhibits. The Civil Rights Heritage Center and Pierre Navarre Log Cabin preserve local history.

The Unity Gardens presents a way for families to engage with the community and the environment, while Erasmus Books and the Chicory Cafe are perhaps most well-known and well-loved.

Many of the community centers on the map are relatively new. Some, like the Birdsell Project and Circa Arts Gallery, were converted from abandoned properties. This follows a national increase in interest in converting abandoned buildings into community spaces. — Grace Watkins

10 Things to Do in South Bend in 2017

Whether you’re interested in art, nature or sports, South Bend offers a wide variety of activities and entertainment to meet the needs of its residents.

From a newly enhanced Notre Dame Stadium to an April lineup at the Morris Performing Arts Center, 2017 is packed with exciting opportunities to immerse in the city. By no means exhaustive, the following list provides 10 Things to Do in South Bend for people of all ages and abilities. — Teagan Dillon

Exploring South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart

Thousands of people converge on the University of Notre Dame on any given football weekend. Those same people are missing out on–and might not even know about–what lies beyond the Dome. Below are a few places to check out in the South Bend-Mishawaka-Elkhart area. — Dakota Connell-Ledwon

Map: Documenting Indiana’s Underground Railroad Locations

By Erin Lattimer • February 21st, 2017

Due north of slave-owning state Kentucky, Indiana was an intuitive route for slaves seeking freedom in Canada during the 1860s. Stations were located across the state and were mainly only known by word-of-mouth.

The map below lists just a few of the Underground Railroad sites recorded in Indiana. Secrecy for protection led to little documentation of the sites, but organizations like Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service attempt to keep a running list of documented Underground Railroad sites. These services are used to create points on this map.

List of Indiana’s Underground Railroad Sites:

Alexander T Rankin House
A member of Indiana’s Antislavery Society, Alexander Rankin was the only recorded person to also participate in Ohio’s Antislavery Society.

Bethel AME Church
This church was known as the “Indianapolis Station” and founded in 1836. After a fire in 1862, it was rebuilt in 1867. In 2016 it was sold to a private firm.

Captain Samuel Barry’s Home
One of the original founders of the town, Orland, Captain Samuel Barry’s home frequently gave refuge to escaped slaves.

Daniel Low Estate
Either by hiding them on board grain boats or sneaking them on to trains heading for Michigan and Canada, Daniel Low assisted approximately 150 slaves on the Underground Railroad.

Eleutherian College Classroom and Chapel Building
Symbolically built on top of a hill to demonstrate its commitment to “individual equality, education, and equal opportunity without regard to race or gender,” Eleutherian College was a well-known stop on the Underground Railroad for fugitives traveling through Madison to Indianapolis.

Erastus Farnham House
One of the leaders of the Underground Railroad movement in Fremont, Indiana, Erastus Farnham hid fugitives in his house and kept watch for slave catchers from the cupola on his roof.

Georgetown Neighborhood
At one point populated with abolitionists and freedom seekers, most of the original homes and churches from the Underground Railroad era still stand in this neighborhood.

Levi Coffin House
Owner Levi Coffin has been termed “president” of the Underground Railroad for assisting over 2,000 slaves to freedom as well as supporting other Underground Railroad stations throughout the North.

The Lyman and Asenath Hoyt House
Between 1830 and 1856 Lyman and Asenath Hoyt along with their seven children volunteered their home and property as a station of the Underground Railroad, hiding fugitives in their barn or a cave located on their land.

Thomas Bulla House
Owner Thomas Bulla and his family used their home to aid runaway slaves. The home is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Google Trends: Can Lyft Catch Uber in South Bend in Search?

By Dakota Connell-Ledwon • February 1st, 2017

You’ve probably used Uber, the ride-sharing app that lets you order a car to pick you up at your exact location. But there’s a new competitor in town–Lyft expanded its operations to South Bend last Thursday.

In a comparison of Google searches using Google Trends, Uber remained dominant after Lyft’s launch.

The graph shows that Google searches for Lyft increased after its launch at noon on Jan. 26–perhaps because the company advertised a $5 coupon promotion for riders beforehand–and searches for Uber were still higher but comparable at the time.

Over the weekend, thousands of protestors gathered at JFK airport to oppose President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven largely Muslim countries. While taxis joined the protest by striking and refusing to pick up passengers from JFK, Uber continued service–and even turned off surge pricing.

Lyft continued to operate as well, but kept surge pricing on and pledged $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. Uber’s actions spawned a boycott of the company around the country. But as the Lyft trend generally follows the same pattern as the Uber trend in the graph, it’s a small possibility that the boycott has affected Uber’s business in South Bend.

Moving into the weekend, the gap between searches for the two companies widened, with Uber peaking early in the morning on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Lyft experienced similar but much smaller peaks.

A city with multiple universities such as the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend is rich ground for ride-sharing companies. Freshman at the University of Notre Dame are prohibited from having a car on campus during their first semester. Students without cars have utilized Uber or taxi companies to get around in the past.

Google Trends will be useful in following interest in Lyft over the coming weeks–will it continue rising in popularity and cut into Uber’s ride-sharing monopoly on South Bend? Or will it fail to take off?

Google Trends: Searches for Women’s March vs. March for Life

By Teagan Dillon • January 31st, 2017

On Jan. 27, Washington, D.C., saw its third major event of the past week as people gathered for the 43rd annual March for Life to protest abortion.

But less than a week earlier, on Jan. 21, some 500,000 people gathered in the same place — and at locations all over the country — for the first annual Women’s March to protest for the protection of a woman’s right to choose, among other things.

While the Women’s March was not centered on abortion, it did take a stance in favor of abortion rights. The Women’s March released a policy document stating that the march supported “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.” One day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, it drew massive crowds not only to the nation’s capital but also to cities around the world.

Here’s a comparison of the amount of Google searches globally in the past 10 days for both the Women’s March and the March for Life. Both peaked on their respective march days, but the Women’s March generated nearly four times as many searches on its protest day than the March for Life did.

In addition, the Women’s March showed continued interest in the days following the protest. Since it was the first of its kind, it most likely drew questions about its crowd size, platform and mission. Also happening to fall on President Trump’s first day in office, it was a rally against his past statements and actions that many deemed misogynistic and reprehensible.

On the other hand, in its 43rd year, the March for Life has become a more established, well-known protest with imaginably fewer questions surrounding its premise. This year, however, Vice President Mike Pence became the first vice president to speak at the rally.

While the Women’s March did take a pro-abortion stance, its platform included a wide range of social issues, such as immigration reform, healthcare reform and LGBTQ rights, that provided pro-life men and women a chance to rally for other issues.

Here’s how the topics fared in Indiana on Google search:

Timelapse: Satellite Images Show South Bend Growth Since 1984

By Mike Reilley • January 5th, 2017

This Google Earth Engine timelapse tool shows the expansion of South Bend over the past 30 years. The site uses NASA satellite images to show progressive change. [Hit the play button in the lower left to animate it]