TitleAddressingHistory: a Web2. 0 community engagement tool and API
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMacdonald, Stuart
JournalIASSIST Quarterly
Start Page17
Date Published09/2011

This paper will chart the development and delivery of a Web 2.0 community engagement tool and Application Programming Interface (API) developed at the EDINA in partnership with the National Library of Scotland, as part of the JISC Digitisation and e-Content Programme. Such a tool enables members of the community, both within and without academia (particularly local history groups and genealogists), to enhance and combine data from digitised historical Scottish Post Office Directories (PODs) with contemporaneous large-scale historical maps. The paper discusses the background to Post Office Directories and the corresponding geo-referenced historic maps for Scotland, the technical platforms deployed including sustainable software components, and web applications and services. It also examines issues surrounding user generated content (UGC) created by the community such as mediation, validation and crosschecking, and the use of social media amplification for community engagement and future directions. To conclude, the paper argues that the success of online crowdsourcing tools such as the one developed for this project will ultimately be measured by continual and extended use within the wider community.