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Crowdsourcing the Past with Addressing History

Presenter 1
Stuart Macdonald
EDINA, University of Edinburgh

The JISC-funded AddressingHistory project, led by the EDINA at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the National Library of Scotland has created a online crowdsourcing tool and API which enables a broad spectrum of users (particularly local and family history groups, and genealogists) to combine data from digitised historical Scottish Post Office Directories (POD) for Edinburgh (1785, 1865, 1905 in the first instance), with contemporaneous historical maps. The technologies deployed are scalable for the full collection of 670 Post Office Directories covering the whole of Scotland. Phase 2 funding has developed functionality complementary to the original work and broadened geographic coverage of content. Work included spatial searching, and enhancing the geo-parsing process via discreet configuration files. Multiple addresses (i.e. entries where individuals have more than one domestic address) were also made explicit for searching purposes. Additional content for Edinburgh as well as Glasgow and Aberdeen (1881, 1886, 1891) to coincide with census (and an inter-census) years has been incorporated into the web tool, and a mobile Augmented Reality application will be added shortly. This presentation will discuss in more detail the social and technical approaches adopted in both phases of the project.

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