ARCH 4219 01 (S14) URBAN RESEARCH & REPRESENTATION
A professor in Yale’s School of Architecture was searching for a way to depict various elements of a historic city street in order to capture and visualize student research and projects, community knowledge, and historic data.
- He wanted a course hub that would also depict a wealth of information visually, spatially, and interactively.
- The site would also function as a home for the Interactive Crown Street project
ITG Academic Technologist Alina Nevins built the web site’s structure using Drupal.
- Drupal isn’t a blogging platform like WordPress.
- It’s a true content management system: a tool for organizing and visualizing many different types of information, not just blog posts.
Nevins ‘souped-up’ Drupal by building custom content types and by incorporating geospatial visualization tools.
- Students can submit short prose assignments (reading responses or discussion questions, ala Blogging 2.0).
- They can also upload photos, videos, maps, and many more types of content.
- Students can associate a location with each item (geospatial data).
- Students can also submit items with a mobile device at the actual location, and upload images or other media.
- Students can view all of the items on a map
There a a couple of different ways that students can search for or view content:
- On the map- view only specific kinds of content at a time filtered by type.
- By type
- By tag
This site is a great example of how technology can uncover connections between different kinds of data and facilitate new insights.
The site was demonstrated at the end-of-year physical project installation– a ‘pop-up urban research field office’- over a weekend in May.
- At the installation participants (community members, students, etc.) were invited to contribute to the site by tagging Twitter posts and Instagram images with #interactivecrownstreet.
- Live social media feeds (Twitter and Instagram) are integrated into the site, both on the homepage and in SocialScreen.
- A mobile app (HistoryPin) lets students post and view historic images and overlay them on Google Street View or in person (augmented reality).
The project reinforces Yale’s mission to preserve and disseminate knowledge, and facilitates the construction of new insights using an emerging technological interface.