- Eastern Michigan University
- Twitter: dejah_thoris
Currently Sound Recordings Processing Archivist at EMU working on Berry Gordy Motown Collection. Also Project Manager for the University of Michigan Women In Science and Engineering program to publish a book and website based on oral histories of women science and engineering students during WW2 and shortly thereafter.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 | dtrubel
In this era of rapid digitization, I fear that we may be losing our sense of place. Comments such as “It’s the content, not the carrier,” imply that no significance should be attached to previous technologies, but does the same hold true for location? Photos stripped of their origin often lose their significance, especially those of places and events. Being able to leverage technologies such as WhatWasThere.com to see the changes between the past and the present can provide significant platforms for discussion (e.g. the loss of buildings and commerce in Detroit) in addition to chronicling local history.
Aural history faces similar problems, which I will illustrate through my local bands project that features ska, alternative, and punk music from Livingston County in the 1990s. Originally designed for storytelling, Broadcastr.com can handle 4 MB audio clips, which you can use to preserve and disseminate a variety of aural content including (but not limited to) oral histories, campus walks, music, poetry readings, birdcalls, or any material could be enhanced by cartographic context.
Both WhatWasThere and Broadcastr have iPhone apps and Broadcastr just released their Android app. For example, with the WhatWasThere app, you can take a virtual walk through the history of Ann Arbor and other cities as an immersive experience.