History Pin

I spent the afternoon today exploring History Pin.  It was brought to my attention at the beginning of the semester during a chat with the good folks downstairs in the Photo archive.  I was telling them about how much I loved looking through the digital collection and comparing it to google maps’ street view.  That’s when Reilly, the photo archive’s curator, told me that I would love this site.  She was right.  Basically, the website is a global map, to which you can attach digital photographs.  You’re given the option to then connect the photo to street view.  I assume it takes some patience, but it is possible on the site to then line up the attached old photograph over a “current” view of what that location looks like.  Visitors to the site can then fade in and out to compare the changes over time.  It seems to be a peculiar type of animal who gets enthralled with things like that, but I happen to be a textbook example.  I do have some questions about the site’s use, though.  If I add the reference information and required metadata, could I us U of L’s digitized collections to create pins?  I have a ton of old photos saved on my hard drive at home, but may not have done a great job of keeping the photos’ provenance attached.  If I created pins, I’d want to have that sort of information intact.  The site also lets you attach audio and video to the map, and create tours with your own pins and the pins of others.  There seems to be terrific potential on the site for creating online exhibits and “walking” tours in which there is no walking involved.  Since the site is worldwide, larger distances could be covered if it were appropriate for the tour’s topic.  Best of all, once a tour is created, it can be taken by anybody on the site who has the interest.  Expect some circus-related pins to show up on my twitter feed soonish (the problem being we still don’t have internet at my house).  

In my History 510/612 course, we seem to be pushing ahead with podcasts and omeka simultaneously.  The graduate students have each been paired with an undergrad to create a podcast using the Main Street Association oral histories.  It seems a bit strange to be to craft a podcast with interviews conducted by others (mainly Susan Foley), but the material is interesting enough that I have faith that we will be able to craft engaging projects.  I never thought I’d be making my own podcast.  That, at least, is an exciting prospect.  Now…..must decide on topic.  Hmmm…..

Not sure what the omeka topics will be, either, but personally, I’m going to try and do a better job with holding onto that metadata and citing my sources to create a more professional exhibit this time.  My circus wagon exhibit took a surprising amount of research and material and several of the items I uploaded were a little iffy in that regard.


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