Maryland’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission supports creation of interactive battlefield maps and KeyCam


BALTIMORE — Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley along with the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star-Spangled 200 Inc., have unveiled two new web-based resources that will bring the story of our national anthem and the battles that inspired its writing to life.

The organizations partnered with the National Park Service and award-winning interactive firm, Alexander + Tom, Inc. to design and develop KeyCam and the War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps, two interactive experiences whose purpose is to promote, educate, and inform a wide audience about Francis Scott Key, significant War of 1812 battles in the Chesapeake region, and the upcoming 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Bringing Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to computer, tablet and mobile devices around the world, KeyCam is anchored by four advanced web cams with their sights fixed on Fort McHenry in Baltimore. KeyCam is designed to give viewers the same sight-line to Fort McHenry that Francis Scott Key had 200 years ago during the Battle of Baltimore, a view that inspired him to write the words, “O say can you see,” that would become our national anthem.

Additional features include an interactive image gallery allowing users to upload their own inspiring photographs and other digital media.

“KeyCam and the War of 1812 Battlefield maps are two meaningful projects that are exciting for a number of reasons,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “These new, free online tools will bring the history of Maryland and our nation to life for visitors in a modern, interactive, and easy-to-access tool that will make celebrating the Star-Spangled 200 all the more special.”

The War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield_Maps feature cutting-edge animated maps to illustrate Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation during four significant battles of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: the Battle of St. Leonard Creek, the Battle of Bladensburg, the Battle of North Point and the Battle of Baltimore.

Each map provides an historical context of the battle, in addition to beautiful images, artwork, and video highlighting the history of each battle. Users can experience the battles in the Chesapeake Bay landscape as it was during the War of 1812 or toggle to the modern landscape of 2014.

Additional online assets include:

Hold_the_Fort is an online game that sets the stage for users to relive the Battle of Baltimore and the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

The Chesapeake_Explorer_App is a smartphone app that allows users to explore the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, a 290-mile trail that tells the stories of the events, people and places that formed the Chesapeake’s homeland defense against Great Britain and ultimately inspired the National Anthem. is a tool that allows teachers to share the stories of the people, places and events surrounding the War of 1812 with their students through media-rich interactives, curricular resources, primary source materials and documents.

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