Geography: the missing link for archives?

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10 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

91 εμφανίσεις

Catherine Emma (Kate) Jones

and Andrew Janes

4 September 2013

Geography: the missing
link for archives?

A case study from the London Blitz

HO 192/862

Some sources for researching the London Blitz


Log books, incident registers and reporting forms


Maps plotting bombs or bomb damage


Photographs and plans of bomb sites


Investigation reports


Records of institutions that were bombed


Newspaper reports


Local council minutes


Personal accounts: diaries, memories, etc

Challenges of using primary sources


Doing research involves doing research …


Most people aren’t familiar with using archives


Historical data is complex and ‘messy’ to work with


Time
-
consuming to discover what is relevant


Different archives hold different sources


‘Hidden’ records?


Most archival sources are not digitised


Most records are not catalogued in lavish detail

Bomb Sight


the project


A step towards wider access to historical records


Build an interactive mapping website and Android mobile app


Selected Bomb Census maps from TNA


Other historical data about the Blitz


A resource for academic researchers


A resource for geography teaching and learning


A resource for ‘citizen researchers’ / the public

Project partners

Funded by

bombsight.org/about

Content Programme 2011
-
13

Project team

Andrew
Janes

Project
Advisor

Dr Catherine
Jones

Project
Director

Andrew Janes

Project Advisor

Dr Catherine Jones

Project Director

Jasia Warren

Graphic Designer

Dr Patrick Weber

Tech Lead / Web Developer

and student researchers
Ali Nabbi

and
Felix Fennel

Dan Karran

Mobile Developer

Data sources


Aggregate night
-
time Bomb Census maps, 7 Oct 1940
-

6 June
1941


The National Archives (ref: HO 193/13)


Weekly Bomb Census maps, 7
-
14 Oct 1940


The National
Archives (ref: HO 193/1)


24 hours of the Blitz, 7 Sept 1940


Guardian Data Store



Anti
-
invasion defence locations


Council for British Archaeology:
Defence of Britain Dataset


Photographs


Imperial War Museum Images


WW2 Memories


BBC History “People’s War”


Present day street map and aerial imagery


Cloudmade


For full details and copyright information, see:
bombsight.org/data/sources/

HO 193/1

sheet 15/18 NW

Weekly Bomb Census map for 7
-
14 October 1940

HO 192/341

The impact in numbers


Discussed in 70+ different global print/TV/internet media


184,436 unique visitors on 7 December 2012


378,971 unique visitors in first two months


Almost 450,000 unique visitors
up to
29 August 2013


Over 1,273,058 page views up to 29 August 2013


Site accessed 102,000 times with a tablet or mobile phone


Quiet rollout of native mobile app: 2600+ downloads since made
available via Google Play in mid
-
December 2012


Compares to 827 original map folder productions in 2012/13


Engaging with technology


Transformed data:

New technology brings old data to life


Enhanced data:
Searchable, browsable and enriched


For access:
From ‘hidden’ records to popular website


For preservation:

Access without handling fragile originals


For learning:

Supports students to develop the knowledge
and skills for working with spatial data

Engaging with geography


Geography:
a missing link for archives?


Maturity and popularity of

digital mapping


Academic ‘buzz’ around spatial data


Using geography to link different sources together


Archives:
a missing link for geography?


Maps are for more than just history of cartography


Archives are for more than just ‘straight’ history

Engaging with the public


User
-
focused development:
Scenarios and user
-
testing


Social media:
A powerful tool for raising awareness


Blog post and talk/podcast:
Contributing to TNA’s public
engagement programmes


Academia is relevant:
Academic work responds to and
drives public interest in historical events (and sources)


Archives are relevant:
Sources contain a wealth of data

The Twitter buzz


I have to say
@BombSightUK

is one of the most impressive online archive
resources I've ever seen. Brings alive the sheer scale of the Blitz.



The
@BombSightUK

map tallies well with anecdotal reports of WW2
German bombs from the old timers in my neighbourhood. Fascinating.



What an astonishing use of #augmentedreality & mobile apps by
@BombSightUK
... this looks brilliant...



Always suspected my housing block was built on a WW2 bomb site, and
thanks to
http://bombsight.org

I can see I was right!



19


Al
-
Jazeera English


BBC News


CNN


The Daily Telegraph


The Economist


The Guardian


Huffington Post


Mail Online


Mashable


Le Monde


Sky Australia


Der Spiegel


Wired

Challenges (1)


working together


A first time for everything …


Academia meets civil service


Joint working = staking everyone’s reputation


Intellectual property rights


Many WWII
-
era sources are still in copyright …


… but much is Crown copyright or licensable


Required non
-
commercial licences utilising open source
and low cost solutions

Challenges (2)


margins of error


Records made under wartime conditions


Bombs missed during the survey


Mis
-
plotted or unclear bombs on map sheets


Transforming the data: paper to digital


Mismatches between historic and modern map layers


Potential for errors in manual geo
-
locating


Inevitable errors in the Open Street Map layer





Long
-
term preservation


Sustainable formats, e.g. GeoTiff


To be deposited with EDINA Digimap and ShareGeo


Short
-
term sustainability

to meet public demand


A small academic project went viral …


Unanticipated level of public and media interest


Worked with CloudFlare to keep the site running



Challenges (3)


digital sustainability

24


Complete the dataset for London to enable exploration by
timeline?


Capture richer information from ‘BC4’ reporting forms?


Expand to other parts of the UK?


Crowdsource the capture of information?


Crowdsource additional data, e.g. memories, photos?


Develop a framework to help smaller archives create their
own interactive mapping applications?


Seek more funding?


Some ideas for the future

Website


bombsight.org

Blog


blitzbombcensusmaps.wordpress.com

Twitter


@BombSightUK

Kate


@SpatialK8


Andrew


@cartivist




A p
odcast about the development of Bomb Sight is
available via
media.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Watch this space …