Mapping Historical Photos For The Common Good

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Presentation at WebMapSocial Meetup, Nov. 17, 2009 at Google, Mountain View, CA.

Presentation at WebMapSocial Meetup, Nov. 17, 2009 at Google, Mountain View, CA.

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  • 1.   Mapping Historical Photos for the Common Good WebMapSocial Meetup, Nov 17, 2009 Jon Voss, LookBackMaps.net The Old Mission Police Station, 1924 and 2008, 17th St., SF.  1924 Photo courtesy of The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
  • 2. Give me feedback...
    • email:
    • [email_address]
    • www.twitter.com/LookBackMaps
    • Comments welcome, just use @ or #LookBackMaps on
    • Twitter or email me.
  • 3.
      • www.lookbackmaps.net 
      • Started in 2008 as a Google MyMaps mashup
      • Based on the simple idea of creating community around local history.
      • Created to solve the problem of disparate archives with no geotags through community and crowdsourcing
  • 4. LookBackMaps in context
    • I. Making Web 2.0 out of 1.0 Archives
    • II. 2008 Marks a major shift in public digital archives and stakeholder expectations
    • III. Stage is set for radical collaboration and innovation
    • IV. Quick look at the possibilities
  • 5. USGS Photo Archives
      • http://libraryphoto.cr.usgs.gov/
      • Typical of 1990's digital archives.
      • Focus on accurate metadata, accessibility.
      • Prior to geotagging.
  • 6. SF Public Library History Center
      • http://sfpl.org/librarylocations/sfhistory/map.htm
      • Example of how CMS systems have been modified
      • Incorporates some basic geographical sorting, but not based on geotags.
  • 7. Calisphere
      • http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/
      • Unifying search and presentation across collections
      • A project of the California Digital Library, contains 150,000 digitized items from these institutions.
  • 8. PhillyHistory.org
      • www.phillyhistory.org
      • Putting all the pieces together: 
        • archives
        • search
        • multiple sources
        • geotags.
      • Yet we are still stuck with SILO COLLECTIONS.
  • 9. II. 2008 Marks a major shift for public archives
      • The Library of Congress and Flickr collaboration spurs the Flickr Commons , and blows open the Web 2.0 door at archives and institutions worldwide.
  • 10. II. 2008 Marks a major shift for public archives
      • The Library of Congress and Flickr collaboration spurs the Flickr Commons , and blows open the Web 2.0 door at archives and institutions worldwide.
      • Multiple open source collections management and web publishing platforms begin to take hold and lower the barrier to entry for Web 2.0 presentation, collaboration, plugins and extensions
  • 11.
    • Some stats from the LOC summary report a year after launch speaks to the success.  As of 10/23/08:
      • 10.4 million views of LOC photos on Flickr
      • 79% of the 4,615 photos have been made a "favorite"
      • 67,176 tags were added by 2,518 unique Flickr accounts
      • Less than 25 instances of user-generated comments were removed as inappropriate.
      • More than 500 records have been enhanced with new information provided by the Flickr community.
    LOC/Flickr Commons
  • 12. Public Archives in the Web 2.0 Environment
    • Institutions and users are meeting in the middle to build community around holdings
      • Search/Share : Archives want to get their holdings out to a wide-reaching public, Users want to search across institutions to discover based on interest, locality, etc.
      • Comment/Community : the ability to discuss and engage, create community
      • Contribute/Improve : Tag, geotag, crowdsource
      • Compare : Then and now. community identity often tied to history
  • 13. III. Stage is set for collaboration and innovation
    • Mashups, collaborations, shared datasets, open source, open data, and open tools
  • 14.
    • Including a new public/private collaboration focused on bridging silo archives which will:
      • create a centralized database built on an open source platform to collect image urls and metadata of source material
      • use public engagement strategies to solicit community input to increase traffic to the archives and add value to the data
      • make the data searchable and available to other web applications via an application programming interface (API)
  • 15. IV. What does the future of history hold?
    • With the walls of the academy and cultural heritage institutions becoming more porous , programmers, hackers, and archivists are finding more in common than ever.
    • What will you do with all this data?
  • 16.  
  • 17. LookBackMaps iPhone App Currently in Development See screenshot demo here.
  • 18.  
  • 19.  
  • 20. Give me feedback...
    • email:
    • [email_address]
    • www.twitter.com/LookBackMaps
    • Comments welcome, just use @ or #LookBackMaps on
    • Twitter or email me.