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Weekly Wrap-Up Post: Week 5

10 Jun

thing 5: Photos +Maps +Apps: Historypin/WhatWasThere/SepiaTown by Alex Daw (@luvviealex)

Sorry for the late re-cap this week, it is a long weekend for us on the Eastern side of Australia, so technically Monday is still our weekend! Cheers, Kate.

This week has provided much food for thought for those with a leaning to all things archival or of a local or family history nature. Some of us lurked and some of us got in there and had a bit of a play.

The #anz23mthings hashtag stream was showing participants still getting on board with Foursquare and contributing to #blogjune. There were also some great links to thought pieces, some fun stuff as well as some useful tools.

We were shown a new word “nomophobia” and introduced us to the scary idea of having no mobile phone.

And there were the usual technical hurdles – @SarahJLisle found her phone was not so smart when it came to downloading HistoryPin.

Links shared on Twitter

Map of Origin of Tweets – shared by @SarahLibrarina

Visual Guide to Twitter for Beginners – shared by @PeterMurgatroyd

Crib sheets for Google Apps – shared by @AWalker007

Levitagram – an app to really impress your devoted followers – shared by @dpgreen

Twitter Curation Tools – shared by @infoliterati


@KiwiLibrarian (like me) posted pictures of her home being built in 1955

@Kraznozem posted a picture of her old library

@janholmquist posted a picture of the oldest buiding in Nakskov

@Rubicon49bce wrestled with the idea of a “street-view” in Antarctica.

@stokesrenee fought the urge to sleep whilst watching HistoryPin instructional videos.

@Tegalex wondered if her town even existed – no pics on #$WhatWasThere or #SepiaTown


Karen (@karentoittoit) tested WhatWasThere on her iPad 2 but (without great success) and isn’t sure whether its to do with technology or her location.


@luvviealex aka Moi posted my first photo on this site of a chalet now long gone in Mt Wellington Tasmania.


Many of us are blogging for June. Please forgive me if I don’t highlight all the bloggers out there.

Renee (@stokesrenee) learned more than she anticipated when she snapped the old facade of the WA Museum on her way into the city to see a friend. Looking closely at the TOS or Terms of Service of both HistoryPin and WhatWasThere, Renee was forced to consider that perhaps these services hold all the cards in terms of permission to use, modify and reproduce your image in a variety of ways.

Stephanie (@stephmcg) reflects on the importance of institutions accurately tagging their metadata so users can find the proper locales with GPS.

Abigail (@ajwillemse91) has been blogging like there’s no tomorrow and has discovered the secret to getting back your writing mojo Has she got to 1,000 views yet?

Final thoughts

It has been quite a challenge personally to go through my own personal photo collection and assess what would be HistoryPin or SepiaTown worthy. It has forced me to think about copyright issues, privacy issues and to be sure I know my North from my South! We are currently conducting an archival project at our own library and it has made me realise the value of this collection and how important it is to tag and label photos at the time they are taken. We are naturally busy people, forced continually to re-prioritise and it can be tempting to think that labelling photos is not an immediate priority. But if not now, when? And what if “when” is too late and nobody is there with the corporate memory?

A confession – most of this post was composed on the desktop but you will be pleased to hear that, due to the slowness of our connection, I was “forced” to resort to using my mobile phone as well as a kind of back up network.

Last but not least – what is it with Twitter on Sunday nights???? So very very slow. Can someone buy them a new server pleeeeze?


Thing 5: Photos + Maps + Apps: Historypin / WhatWasThere / SepiaTown

3 Jun

Thing 5 provides a great way to engage with your community, and can open up this interaction across the world. Last week was all about looking at maps, but now we get to throw in photos, history, and personal stories.

Historypin, WhatWasThere, and SepiaTown are three sites that allow you – as an individual or an institution – to overlay new and historic photographs onto Google Maps to recreate the way places were in past, show how they are now, encourage people to share their stories, and to create something of a digital memory bank. When you combine these sites with smartphones you have a fun and interactive way to share collections, knowledge, and memories with your community.


  • Download the Historypin and/or WhatWasThere apps to your phone. Compare these with the desktop versions and SepiaTown (no mobile app).What can you do on the desktop version that you can’t do with the app, and vice versa?
  • Can you find any photographs uploaded in your area?
  • Take a photo with your mobile and pin it (upload it) to the map. What information do you need to pin? Can you get the location right?

Historypin screenshot
Historypin screenshot by Katrina McAlpine via CC license on Flickr


  • Go for a walk with the Historypin app. Use the map to find photos near you. If there aren’t any on the map take photos of local buildings with your phone and upload them.
  • Find a photo on the map and try taking a ‘Historypin Repeat’ – overlaying the old photograph with one taken on the spot with your phone.
  • Create a tour or a collection on Historypin. You don’t have to upload your own photos to do this, you can use photos uploaded by other people. Create this around something you are interested in, or what you think your community might be interested in, for example schools, libraries, monuments, or sports fields. There is plenty of information in the Historypin How To Guides to help you get started.
  • Can you contribute a story to a photo on Historypin? This might be in your local area, from a holiday, your home town, or your own subject speciality. Can you do this from the mobile app?


  • How could you use Historypin to engage with your community? Could you work with a group like a local historical society, volunteers, or teens to upload photographs, share stories, and add their perspectives to Historypin?
  • Could you integrate Historypin with a particular event or collection in your library? Could you create a Historypin collection or a tour to move outside of the library walls?
  • What happens with the photographs you are uploading to these sites? Do you still own the content? Are there any issues with copyright?
  • How long does it take to pin a photo or create a tour? How will you maintain your content? How will you respond if people add stories to your photographs?
  • Are there other ways to encourage engagement with your community through photographs? This could be a project such as Mosman Memories; using Metadata Games to enhance your photographic information; or creating photographic blog pages using a site such as Tumblr that your community can contribute to.

From Abigail: That fantastic introduction was written by @katreeeena. Keep an eye out for this week’s email, which will have all the details of our interactive activity this week- hint: it is based in Facebook, but will probably slide over into Twitter as well!

This post is a remix of Thing 5.

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