Several Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab faculty, staff, and students presented their work at the Social Science History Association meeting in Chicago this week.
Dr. Don Lafreniere (Project Director) began the conference as a roundtable participant with other scholars from the U.S. and U.K. discussing models for building and sustaining Historical GIS projects. He also shared the next stages of the Keweenaw Time Traveler project, highlighting our recently released mobile app. He demonstrated this by importing a map segment of Chicago that allowed participants to see the historic Palmer House (where the conference was held) just as we can see towns around the Copper Country!
The Keweenaw Time Traveler team is partnering with the Chassell Heritage Center to help build interactive digital interpretation for the new Chassell historic interpretive trail. The trail will run from Chassell Township Park along Pike Bay and through the former site of a lumber mill. Using maps and aerial imagery The Time Traveler will give people unique insight into how the site changed from 1893 to the present day as they travel down the new boardwalk trail. Through story points created by the Chassell Heritage Center team guests to the park will also be informed about the unique value this site has to the history of the Copper Country. You can learn more about this amazing project by visiting the Chassell Heritage Center on Facebook, or through this excellent 'Discovering' Episode from 906 Outdoors found below. Be sure to check out this great trail and be sure to bring keweenawhistory.com along!
Dr. Arnold and Dr. Lafreniere showed many of these local buildings (such as the Copper Country Curling Club) and discussed the various levels of attention and assistance they get for preservation before introducing how projects like the Keweenaw Time Traveler can help! By having a detailed record of the built landscape, we can easily and accurately assess historic value and tell the stories of the buildings that continue to shape our communities!
This Friday, Dr. Don Lafreniere (Project Director) presented the Keweenaw Time Traveler at Northern Michigan University (available here). NMU puts on an annual event, called the Sonderegger Symposium, which focuses on the social aspects (and challenges) of the Upper Peninsula. While there, Dr. Lafreniere discussed the creation of the Time Traveler and its importance for helping local history come to life through historical maps and data linkages. The next phase of the project, which we are incredibly excited about, involves bringing our methods and lessons learned to other communities and helping jumpstart similar projects. He was also able to demonstrate how to use the Time Traveler, with all the different types of maps and data available.
Time Travelers James Juip and Timothy Stone completed successful defenses in early November.
James, defending his Ph.D. proposal, shared his vision for using deep maps to help generate engagement with local history. Using platforms such as the Keweenaw Time Traveler, James hopes to help communities and community members take ownership of their history and provide them with a means to preserve and share their stories and memories.
Timothy, defending his Master’s thesis, discussed his work with the Calumet and Laurium school records and how he used them to study local children’s environmental exposures from 1920. He presented a methodology for incorporating children’s data into an existing HSDI and argued that research on children’s exposures should focus on all activity spaces, rather than just exposures at home.