A few years ago I was experimenting with the idea of “Digital Visits”. Taking people (mostly elderly) around locations and taking pictures and then back at base, making web galleries and digital maps. It was terrific. We went around communities and each time the host would prepare a bit of a guided tour.
Much of the content is lost now. I have pulled together as much as I can in these pages but most of the links will be broken. There is a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/digivisits/ and I just re-discovered a bunch of pics on Flickr. One day I took a bunch of folks to Whitby in a people carrier and gave them cameras. Another time we went to Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum.
The picture below was taken on the return journey from Whitby. Alan Lawson (I think that was his name) showed us a different road back to Loftus. There is a Flickr account with all the Whitby and Mining Museum pictures here.
May 14 2010
We had an excellent visit to the Mining Museum in Skinningrove this week and we’d like to thank CIMM for their hospitality. Particularly we’d like to mention the three volunteers Alan, Liz and Ian who took us through various parts of the mine and told us of the working and the history. We had a pretty large group on this visit with Friends of Redcar Cemetery joining us. Actually, we’ve learned that there is a fair bit of networking happening on these visits with East Cleveland people attending Middlesbrough ones and vice versa. This will be the first visit to become a “Digital Visit”, an experiment to map, display images and tell stories about community visits.
A large group of Digital Photographers were seen wandering Loftus today. Cllr Barry Hunt had organised a visit to the Town Hall and thanks also go to Alison, Clerk to Loftus Town Council for showing us around. Barry features on these walls in both name and image. Our intrepid group are pictured below in the Council Chamber. We then took to the streets of Loftus. What a fabulous place, I’ve visited many times and driven through even more but you see so much more on a walkabout. This visit was accompanied by a rich tapestry of local stories from John including the one about the famous Race between a Camel and a Lion. The pictures will end up as digital post cards as well as featuring in the Iron Age To Digital Age exhibition to take place in Loftus Town Hall in September.
We had a visit to Marske organised by Joan Russell. I’m looking for the pics.
DIGITAL VISIT TO HINDERWELL & PORT MULGRAVE September 3rd.
Travel from Stockton or Middlesbrough to take part in a Hidden Heritage Walk around Hinderwell and Port Mulgrave. There are extra pick-up points at Saltburn, Skinningrove and Loftus. Bring your digital camera and a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be by courtesy of our Hosts, Mulgrave Community Research Project. In beautiful surroundings you will hear about the heritage of this area from the distant and recent past and see the possible site of an Anglo Saxon Church, an ancient burial mound and St. Hilda’s Well (Scheduled Ancient Monument).
Pick-ups begin at 9am and we will return from Mulgrave at 4pm.
The visit is funded by courtesy of the Mulgrave Community Research Project.You need to be fairly active to take the walk which is just over 2k, but it is not overly strenuous and you can sit out parts of it.
You can participate in a “Digital Visit” by taking pictures, producing a digital map and creating a web page of the visit. There will be workshops after the visit to do this.
Please RSVP as soon as possible as spaces are limited, Below are the ways to book (in order of preference)
PROJECT: Digital Countryside
OUTLINE: To encourage visits of town dwellers to rural communities to build an awareness of the countryside, it’s produce and amenities. To build in a digital dimension that creates a big countryside map that visitors contribute content to.
- Town visits to the country. This has to be good for both parties in many ways, knowledge sharing, and health benefits.
- Raising awareness of countryside produce and linking in farming, tourism and any other aspects that rural communities would want to make urban communities aware of.
- I think the digital dimension to this proposal could be Digital Mapping and story-telling. Look at the Mulgrave map in Appendix A. The Mulgrave community group has asked for support to create an online digital version of that.
- If this project were to create one BIG map with many components such as Mulgrave over time visits would build up content and a bank of information about the countryside.
- Visitors take workshops to produce blogs, wikis, image galleries, recipes from local produce, stories etc – ad all attached to the big map.
- Another example is the Skinninhgrove Ochre trail. This does not yet exist but the community there has also asked for assistance to develop an online digital map.
- These maps can work BOTH ways – as an information point for Virtual Visitors who may then visit physically and also as an information point for physical visitors. The Skinningrove points of interest get many visitors on walking the Cleveland way.
- Creating “way points” where visitors could pick up little cards with URL’s where they can get more info on the place of interest they are looking at.
- There are other more technological things that can be done but perhaps simplest is best. There are other examples of this approach in communities I’ve been working with.
The idea would be to take groups of people on walks of interest and create digital content in doing so. This would involve a planning session prior to the excursion of maybe 2 hours, – digital cameras, google maps, websites (2 hrs). Then the excursion itself (half day) and a final session (3 hrs) to compile content. Each group discovers and explores somewhere, hears local stories and creates digital content. What we don’t want to do is create “walking websites” as there are plenty of those. What we do is create “story websites” which are digital collections of the journey. The locations, the things learned, the stories, pictures, videos etc.
- A dozen digital cameras and mem cards
- A couple of mobile phones (this was the reason I tweeted a picture from Marske graveyard – with a little more time I could have geo-located the picture)
- Excursion costs – sometimes we will need the cost of a people carrier/mini bus. Also we could provide a healthy packed lunch which the participants could blog about.
- A laptop and USB modem (to get data on the location directly from the site)
- My time
- Possible time for local tour guides
- Venue hire for pre and post visit
- Web space (put all trips on a URL.com/walk-name )
- Print costs
======= PASTED CONTENT ======
For content development of the Octorama Digital Arts Tour http://www.thedigitalvillages.com I’ve organised a number of village walkabouts. Yesterday was Marske http://tvcm.co.uk/walk-the-walk/
The group was smaller than expected but still our combined ages came to roughly 310. Joan had assembled some heritage images of specific locations and the group took current day pictures whilst Joan told us some of the history. Later I will show the group how to digitally re-align the pictures so we can morph from past to present (or the other way around) providing us with our journey through time and space for the exhibition. You can see the journey(s) we’re taking here – http://www.thedigitalvillages.com/east-cleveland Redcar and Cleveland Mind are covering the journeys between the villages and already have 300 images and some video.
I think there is something in this approach worth developing. It was highly sociable (none of the participants were from the same village), healthy and informative and included Digital Participation. Today we did the same thing in Skinningrove and it was a great success http://www.skinningrove.tv/ochre/
From Trevor Teesdel
In a way we did create some stories along the way. I was only on the Whitby visit but it began with Steve having difficulty backing out of a narrow alley in Saltburn. I mentioned a story I’d heard about Biggles author WE Johns who was stationed in nearby Marske by the sea during the 1st world war. He was an instructor pilot but had all kinds of incidents himself getting airborn and staying there! These incidents inspired his Biggles stories and so we branded Steve Biggles. This set off lots of stories of ‘Our Biggles’ during the day and Steve played along with the ‘role’ (didn’t have much choice really!) but he has a good sense of humour and as we took photos we’d make up these Biggles style stories so it was fun but a learning experience at the same time. We didn’t write them down though but ‘Our’ Biggles, in the developing story line, wrote a song called ‘Curry Home’ while looking out for a Curry house on the way home! This of course had nothing to do with Steve’s song ‘Hurry Home’! I did do some creative writing workshops with some of the other groups Steve had at the time and some of them were in both groups.