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Localising Wartime Past: London's Blitz - Stepping into Time - Dr Catherine (Kate) Jones


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Presentation given at the Geospatial in the Cultural Heritage Domain - Past, Present & Future event in London on 7th March 2012. The event was organised as part of the JISC GECO project.

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Localising Wartime Past: London's Blitz - Stepping into Time - Dr Catherine (Kate) Jones

  1. 1. Localising wartimepast: Londons Blitz Stepping into Time Dr Catherine Emma (Kate) Jones @spatialK8: University of Portsmouth
  2. 2. Overview• About the project• About the users• About the data• About the work plan• About the hopeful impacts• About the issues encountered to date
  3. 3. About the project • “Almost everything that happens, happens somewhere and knowing where something happens is critically important” (Longley et al., 2010) • Explores the mechanisms of linking & clustering historic data using geography & time, generating derived information and knowledge set in the present worldLongley, godchild, Maguire and Rhind (2010), Geographical Information Systems and Science, Wiley and Son: Chichester. Page 2
  4. 4. Typical User Stories• WHO: „Megan‟ a student of history, „Mark‟, a geography undergraduate, or „Matthew‟, an urban design post-graduate• WHAT: Research on how streets and the built environment have changed through time? – all are proficient discipline specific packages – not proficient with desktop GIS• Familiar with Google Maps/ Bing Maps etc...• Accounts with social networking websites & use mobile apps• Learn best with practical problems to solve & visual material• Find traditional lectures a little boring
  5. 5. Challenges faced by the user• (1) determining available data• (2) understanding the technology, concepts & methods required to process & integrate data• (3) implementing the technical solutions
  6. 6. User Experience Vision • Links together different types of data – London during the Blitz • Aimed at students and researchers – (professional, academic or citizen researchers) • Developing web and mobile tools • Explore and discover where bombs fell & the damage caused • For First time – Access to archive content – New interactive representations of data
  7. 7. Features of the project• Creating digital maps of the bomb census – For the period of the blitz in London• Spatial data for different boundaries• Exploring linkage to spatially referenced images• Creating web-mapping application – to explore the data• Creating a mobile application to visualise data in situational context
  8. 8. The National ArchiveWHAT ARCHIVE DATA TOUSE?
  9. 9. What data to use?
  10. 10. Two types of maps1. Aggregate maps of Nightly Bomb Drops during Blitz2. Weekly records 1. Over 500 map sheets for region 5 2. 9 map sheets for Central London for first week of the „Blitz‟
  11. 11. Aggregate Maps for Region 5 Only - LONDON Night Bombing during the Blitz 53/22 56/22 56/22 56/22 56/22 Heaviest NS (B); SW( a) SW(b) SE (a); SE (b); Bombing Period53/20 53/20 56/20 56/20 56/20 56/20 59/20NE (A); NE (B); NW(A); NW(B); NE (A); NE (b); NW (A); Autumn 1940 to Spring 194153/20 53/20 56/20 56/20 56/20 56/20 59/20SE (A); SE (B); SW (A); SW (B); SE (A); SE (b); SW (A); Bomb Census53/18 53/18 56/18 56/18 56/18 59/18 Maps: HO 193 56/18NE (A); NE (B); NW (A); NW (B); NE(A); NE(B); NW (A);53/18 53/18 56/18 56/18 56/18 56/18 59/18 HO 193/13:SE (A); SE (B); SW (A); SW (B); SE(A); SE(B); SW (A); Night bombing only 56/16 56/16 56/16 between 7 Oct 1940 NW (A); NW (B); NE (A); and 6 June 1941; PILOTED AIRCRAFT Maps show locations of all bombs dropped at 35 Map Sheets night from: October 7th 1940 to June 6th 1941
  12. 12. Aggregate Maps for Region 5 Only – LONDON Zoom In around Holborn Image copyright: Crown Copyright, The National Archives
  13. 13. Weekly Maps HO 193/01 53/22 NS (B); 56/22 SW( a) 56/22 SW(b) 56/22 SE (a); 56/22 SE (b);53/20 NE (A); 53/20 NE (B); 56/20 NW(A); 56/20 NW(B); 56/20 NE (A); 56/20 NE (b); 59/20 NW (A);53/20 SE (A); 53/20 SE (B); 56/20 SW (A); 56/20 SW (B); 56/20 SE (A); 56/20 SE (b); 59/20 SW (A);53/18 NE (A); 53/18 NE (B); 56/18 NW (A); 56/18 NW (B); 56/18 NE(A); 56/18 NE(B); 59/18 NW (A);53/18 SE (A); 53/18 SE (B); 56/18 SE(A); 59/18 SW (A); 56/18 SW (A); 56/18 SW (B); 56/18 SE(B); 56/16 NW (A); 56/16 NW (B); 56/16 NE (A);
  14. 14. How will we achieve this project?PROJECT PLAN
  15. 15. 6 Work Packages1. Work package 1: Pilot Phase • Determine data to include in the project and method of data integration2. Work Package 2: Geographical & historical data integration • Georeference, Digitise bomb locations; vectorise roads(?) • Collate statement of accuracy and metadata • Develop aggregate statistics3. Work Package 3: Web-Mapping App Development • Develop web-mapping application, using open source tools to explore the data4. Work Package 4: Mobile App Development • Develop interface to viewi geo-historic datasets on android mobile using AR5. Work Package 5: Data Sharing and IPR 6. Work Package 6: Understanding and engaging users • User centred design - UX vision; User stories, Wire frames (Pencil), Focus group, Prototype
  16. 16. Sketching the wireframes
  17. 17. Expected Project Outcomes• Georeferenced bomb maps = digital record of national importance• Final data shared with The National Archives = reduce use of the original maps and aid their preservation• Opening up maps = Remove need for specialist skills to prepare and process data; only need to do things once• Geographic framework for study of impact of bombing = Aiding understanding of social/economic impact, post WW2• Augmented reality app not just for academic use = the power of geography
  18. 18. Some learning points for other projectsWHY IS THE PLAN SLIGHTLYDIFFERENT TO THE PROPOSAL?
  19. 19. Learning points to date...• IPR and small archives – IPR and business objectives – http://blitzbombcensusmaps.wordpr prevent-manefestation-of-ipr-issues/ Image source: JISC• Scanning and Digitising Delays – Lots of JISC projects requesting jobs from same archive Image source:
  20. 20. Summary• Linking Historic data using the power of location• If you are interested in being part of our user group – please contact me @spatialK8