PhoneBooth: ‘mobilising’ library-owned maps and manuscripts for use in teaching


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PhoneBooth: ‘mobilising’ library-owned maps and manuscripts for use in teaching

  1. 1. PhoneBooth: ‘mobilising’ library-owned mapsand manuscripts for use in teaching Ed Fay | Andrea Gibbons | James Reid Fourth International M-Libraries Conference Open University, September 2012
  2. 2. Introduction • Charles Booth survey of London • LSE Digital Library • GY244: London’s Geographies • Technical approach • Demo of the PhoneBooth prototype • Conclusions/next steps
  3. 3. Charles Booth’s survey of London • Systematic survey of living and working conditions in London, 1886-1903 • Charles Booth Online Archive • Developed c.2000, containing: – Maps, Descriptive of London Poverty – Police notebooks containing eye- witness, street-by-street observations
  4. 4. Charles Booth’s survey of London
  5. 5. Charles Booth’s survey of London
  6. 6. LSE Digital Library “working practices, skills and infrastructure to support thecollection, preservation and dissemination of digital material added to Library collections for which we have sole preservation responsibility” • Mobile usage o 9.8% from mobile devices • Device uptake in student cohort o 59% own smartphone (2011, student survey)
  7. 7. GY244: London’s Geographies an introduction to social and cultural geography using London as a kind of laboratory • 2nd/3rd year undergraduate • Visit to the physical archive – “a little intimidating” – still weren’t entirely sure how to access them on an every day basis – felt a trip to the library might dissuade them
  8. 8. GY244: User requirements • Engagement with technological opportunity... augment the usability of the archive • Walks built into app, with podcasts • What about streets that no longer exist? Need an overlay • Photos/ sketches available, combine with other resources • Link to census data (ie animated graphs from the economist) • Link to crime maps • Link to Mayhew • Access handwritten/ transcribed records – issue with legibility, should be able to access both • Be able to access data in different ways / categorise the contents • Stations and transport • Audio quotes of choice passages, to switch to audio as you walk • Make maps also available on line for those without phone, able to print out etc • ‘on this day’ quotes • Street view (where you can hold your phone up and overlay a picture with what is currently there…) • Alternative to street view, be able to toggle back and forth with google earth – you can easily see what is there now • Things that still exist as they were in that time – ie pubs –Booth pub crawl • Alert system that sends you a message when you pass something of interest – tag alerts • Create your own map and save it, publish it not only to homepage but also facebook, other social media • Users can interact with each other – can see popularity of certain places or entries, other users comments and the ability to add links and etc augmenting the info with additional sources • Second class used the example of YELP, user comments can be pasted, could see level of interest of that particular entry or location • For comments, should be able to make public or keep private and save them • Ability to save your maps, journal entries, notes – email to self • Alternative is to be able to bookmark things via a login process, 2nd class didn’t see either as preferable
  9. 9. GY244: Pedagogic impact • New interactions with the content: – Research tool integrated with everyday movements – A community of users • Inspiration and imagination • Assessment (assigned papers): – To include a walk around an area – Incorporate notebook entries into research
  10. 10. Technical issues and challenges • Extracting content from the legacy (c.2000) application – lack of organisational knowledge or adequate documentation • Georeferencing – missing data from ‘master’ (stitched) map – variable quality results on ‘master’ map – second attempt using 13 ‘pre-master’ maps
  11. 11. Technical issues and challenges • Base map choice – proofs-of-concept with each option – default decided through user testing
  12. 12. Technical issues and challenges • Registration (‘georectification’) – improved through use of ‘pre-master’ maps
  13. 13. Technical issues and challenges • Multiple device support – Variable experience (browser rendering, caching, screen resolutions) • Optimisation – Compressing images for transmission over mobile networks – Selecting image resolution to ensure enough detail for display on small devices
  14. 14. Technical approach • Postgres (with PostGIS extension) – to hold point data about the notebook entries • MapServer – to serve the Booth map at required zoom levels • TileCache/MapProxy – to cache the tiles from MapServer for delivery • Open Layers – to combine: 1) notebook points, 2) the Booth map and 3) a base map of LSE choosing
  15. 15. Native vs Open Web vs Hybrid • “Native” – platform-specific for iOS/Android/etc. • “Open Web” – for use in most mobile browsers • “Hybrid” – wrapping open Web stack in a cross-platform compiler such as PhoneGap
  16. 16. Native vs Open Web vs Hybrid • Started with Open Web application – Increased sustainability (open standards, minimal additional skill set) • Investigating Hybrid approach – Performance issues running map layers and overlays in mobile browsers – Doesn’t seem to be bandwidth problem on 3g • Possibility of a future Native app – Best performance? – User expectation, profile on app stores
  17. 17. Conclusions/next steps • Impact of mobilisation o Student engagement and enthusiasm o Innovative teaching and assessment • Mobile and geo library services o New ways of surfacing content o Open technology enables reuse elsewhere • Technology skills in libraries are essential o Mobile is an increasingly important aspect
  18. 18. Ed Fay, LSE Digital Library Manager | @digitalfay Andrea Gibbons, Graduate Teaching Assistant | @changitaJames Reid, Geoservices Development Manager | @sixfootdestiny