Skip to content
  • Case studies

Coventry City of Culture Trust: Coventry Atlas

Who are they?

In 2017, the Coventry City of Culture Trust successfully bid to make Coventry the U.K.’s city of culture in 2021.

UK City of Culture is a competition run by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) every four years.

Together with Coventry University and Culture Coventry, the Coventry City of Culture Trust dedicated 2021 to celebrating Coventry’s unique heritage and contemporary culture.


Image from the Coventry City of Culture Trust website. 

"Coventry Atlas is an amazing resource providing unique access and insight into the development and history of Coventry."
Ruark Jon-Stevens Marketing & Communications Manager, Culture Coventry

What was the challenge?

Coventry City of Culture Trust, with their partners Coventry University and Culture Coventry, wanted to create a single digital resource/asset to showcase the best Coventry had to offer.

It had to be accessible on older technology and intuitive to use, due to its diverse audience. It needed to be engaging, multimedia, and immersive.

That’s where we come in…

"Coventry Atlas is used by teachers, historians and local people looking to get out and know their city: we're therefore helping with placemaking in the city, giving people a feel for where they are from and an opportunity to reframe local history their way."
Dr Ben Kyneswood Director of Coventry Digital & Photominers

What was the result?

Coventry Atlas! A love letter to this iconic West Midlands city, the Atlas uses a mixture of cultural heritage and crowdsourced history to showcase the best Coventry has to offer.

The Atlas was created in collaboration with Coventry Digital (the University of Coventry’s online repository) and Culture Coventry (the Transport Museum, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, the Coventry Archive, the Roman Lunt Fort, and more).

The instance currently contains:

  • 5,581 records
  • 176 collections
  • 40 historical map overlays
  • 8 walkable trails
“Citizens in Coventry have so many different and wonderful stories to tell. This new atlas will capture the real-life stories and photographs of families in Coventry...this is a chance to capture our community’s great spirit and the hope which many feel about our year as the UK’s City of Culture 2021.”
Chenine Bhathena Creative Director, Coventry City of Culture Trust

Why Humap?

Between crowdsourcing directly from Coventry locals and their partner institutions, the Coventry City of Culture Trust needed a platform that could host a huge amount of data without suffering from latency issues. That platform needed to be hosted and maintained by a 3rd party, multimedia, and have a great user experience.

So, naturally, they chose Humap.

Want to know more about Humap for cultural heritage? Check out our use case page.

Our project was looking for a user-friendly way for people to access maps and assets using a basemap to complement the standard ‘search and tiled results’ approach. We wanted software that could be used on phones, old phones especially, so that Coventry Atlas was not exclusive, and could be used by anyone. We also wanted a product that was developing and with which we could grow as it did.

The Humap team are lovely people. They are very concerned that we get what we need even if it’s not out-of-the-box, such as resolving our need for API connectivity with Coventry Digital, our repository. They also explained things over and over (and over and over) as we felt our way through the project. This gentle approach was most welcome.

We’re at the beginning for Coventry Atlas but it’s getting traction. We’ve received positive comments about what we’re trying to do and are linking up with new opportunities. Adding trails has led to six community trails and new conversations about wildlife and nature trails too, so as Humap evolves it really supports our own development.

I’d say think hard about your users. Humap is lightweight on devices and isn’t a costly app that needs consistent updating. Don’t underestimate this if you want to engage users who don’t have the latest device or great tech skills. The team is also committed to dev – as your opportunities appear, Humap responds too.

Coventry Atlas is a visual and interactive way to get to know our city. Humap was the right choice for us as its generous framework means going forward we’re not constrained – as new ideas and opportunities reveal themselves, we’re able to see the possibilities in Humap’s technology.

We’ve had positive feedback on our early work. Cov Atlas is used by teachers, historians and local people looking to get out and know their city: we’re therefore helping with placemaking in the city, giving people a feel for where they are from and an opportunity to reframe local history their way.

The next iteration will be to use Humap for history and current events so users can experience the past and present of the city together. We hope visitors will find this a great way to explore Coventry. It’s great to know that Humap is evolving to match our ambitions with improvements and new features and we look forward to working together for years to come.

– Dr. Ben Kyneswood, Director of Coventry Digital

You could build something this amazing too.

Schedule a 45-minute call with our team today for a personalised platform demonstration and quote.

Book a demo

Send a message

How can we help?

We usually respond in a few hours