GIS and Digital History Projects

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An introduction to the use of GIS in digital history efforts with an explanation of several related Azavea projects.

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GIS and Digital History Projects

  1. 1. GIS and Digital History September 14, 2010 340 N 12th St, Suite 402 Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.925.2600 info@azavea.com www.azavea.com
  2. 2. About Azavea • Founded in 2000 • 25 people • Based in Philadelphia – Boston satellite office • Geospatial + web • Software design & development • Spatial analysis services
  3. 3. How Can GIS Help? • Draw on the public’s strong connection to location • Connect the past to the present • Bring together multiple collections • Assist with making new connections • Provide access via mobile based technologies • Possibly generate revenue
  4. 4. Related Projects • PhillyHistory.org • Mapping DuBois • AfricaMap – Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis • Mural Arts Program – Muralfarm.org
  5. 5. • PhillyHistory.org (http://phillyhistory.org) – Historic photo archive – Mobile web app – Augmented reality app (Winter 2011)
  6. 6. Each of these images is intimately tied to a location.
  7. 7. Providing a historical record - not just of a time or an event - but also of the place where the photo was taken.
  8. 8. Google Street View 1911 2009
  9. 9. Mobile Access • Geographic searches • Location aware • An iPhone web app also accessible via Android • No administrative functions • Brings collections out of the institution • http://www.phillyhistory.org/i/
  10. 10. Using Augmented Reality to Connect the Past and the Present • Data or images appear on your smart phone and tell you more about the physical structure or environment you are viewing • Build for iPhone and Google Android • Engage students in the study of history, architecture, and photography • Overlays of 500 historic photographs of locations around the city • Additional contextual Students and pretzel vendor at West Philadelphia High School, 1934. information for 20 images
  11. 11. Mapping the DuBois Philadelphia Negro • Uses data gathered in 1896 by W.E.B. DuBois as part of a survey of Philadelphia’s 7th Ward • Data transformed into dynamic map layers • Students and other public users can use the GIS to explore and analyze the data A historic W.E.B DuBois map (c. 1896) mapping data on African-Americans living in Philadelphia’s 7th ward.
  12. 12. AfricaMap • Developed with Harvard University, Center for Geographic Analysis • A web application that provides search and display for maps and data from various sources • Creates new opportunities for making cross disciplinary connections
  13. 13. • Muralfarm (http://muralfarm.org) – City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program – Mobile survey tool to update database & collect field data – Powered by Sajara, the same digital asset management software behind PhillyHistory.org
  14. 14. Challenges • Geographic information may not be tracked for each asset • Addresses and street plans may have changed over time • Location associated with an asset may be unknown or disputable • Location based projects garner much public interest, requiring staff time for responses
  15. 15. Benefits • Geographic information can be used for other projects • Attract public attention to your collections • Introduce collections to new audiences • Take advantage of location based mobile technology • Possibly generate revenue
  16. 16. Questions? Deborah Boyer Project Manager dboyer@azavea.com Twitter: @debsting www.azavea.com

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