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Cultural heritage institutions change lives.

It hasn’t been an easy few years for the cultural heritage sector. The competition for attention is fierce, budgets are tight, and standards for digital experiences are extremely high.

Prefer blogs? Check out our top 5 reasons cultural heritage organisations need an interactive map.

Democratise cultural heritage

Throwing open the doors, welcoming new voices, and addressing uncomfortable histories has been the zeitgeist of the past decade in cultural heritage.

Easier said than done, when time, space, and resources are under immense pressure. How are our clients using Humap to democratise heritage?

Layers of London is a £1.3M digital project from the Institute of Historical Research, on the Humap platform. Through user-generated content, the Layers of London project team is changing what it means to engage with the local community and bring new voices into the process of heritage-making.

The interactive map contains over 11,000 crowdsourced records and over 380 collections, as well as modern data and historical map overlays, all contributed by the sizeable Layers of London community and its partner institutions.

 

Image based on the Charles Booth poverty map, hosted on Layers of London.

Layers of London “provides the infrastructure and platform for people to present the stories of their own heritage that have gone unrecorded - these are shown alongside academic research and historical artefacts.”
 Layers of London: Mapping the Journey Evaluation Report

Attract and engage audiences

Approximately 42% of the Earth’s population are on social media and there are roughly 5.6 BILLION Google searches a day.

Physical exhibitions and traditional curation are only half the battle. Without an optimised digital strategy, you’re missing out.

Turn your collections database into a clickable, sharable, multimedia experience. Hosted and maintained by us, an interactive map-based content management system will maximise impact and minimise cost.

 

Image from the Wiener Holocaust Library’s Humap instance: the Refugee Map.

“Our old interactive map webpage had become antiquated and technically too constrained to effectively tell the stories within our collections to a wider audience. Humap solved this in style, with a fresh look and intuitive platform.”
Helen Lewandowski Assistant Curator, The Wiener Holocaust Library

Digitise and preserve fragile collections

Even the best-kept object will be damaged eventually. Locked in cases or hidden in storerooms, important objects are often stuck in stasis or forgotten.

What if you could preserve them forever and allow everyone to explore them?

Layers of London, Coventry Atlas, and the Refugee Map all contain geo-rectified antique maps that can be toggled, explored, and layered on top of one another (and the base map). This is alongside images, videos, and in-depth text exploration of archival documents, museum objects, oral and intangible heritage, and user-generated content.

As Humap supports IIIF rich media, these maps can be magnified and zoomed in on without losing their crisp, HD image.

Digitising collections and sharing them through a cultural heritage interactive map gives them a second life and enables more people than ever to enjoy them.

 

Image from Layers of London.

Nurture relationships with partner institutions

Pooling resources, expertise, and audiences is a smart move for any cultural heritage organisation.

Minimise cost and maximise impact by creating a digital asset that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The UK Holocaust Map (from the The Association of Jewish Refugees)  contains co-curated collections from several U.K-based cultural heritage institutions, including:

Coventry Atlas is also a collaborative project, with collections contributed from:

  • Coventry Digital (the University of Coventry’s online repository)
  • Culture Coventry (the Transport Museum, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, the Coventry Archive, and the Roman Lunt Fort)

 

Image from the Association of Jewish Refugees’ Humap instance: the UK Holocaust Map.

“Humap’s platform enabled us to create a digital resource that many different institutions can contribute their archival content to, and for each of these partner organisations to have a visual presence on the site so that it looks visually like the collaborative project that it aims to be.”
Alex Maws Head of Educational Grants and Projects, The Association of Jewish Refugees

Create a sustainable digital legacy

Digital cultural heritage projects are often left to obsolesce and die once the funding has ran out. 

Many funding bodies will only give grants to digital projects that build longevity into their planning process.

Our answer to this is Legacy Mode. Interactive maps with Legacy Mode turned on cannot be added to or changed, but they will be maintained by us and accessible by your users.

If more funding is found in the future, the instance can be reactivated at any time.

For an example of a project in Legacy Mode, check out Mapping Memory: On The Liverpool Waterfront.

 

Get project funding

There are currently four cultural heritage interactive maps on the Humap platform that have won funding:

Several different funding bodies have backed projects that use Humap, demonstrating the value and potential of our platform.

We love projects like these, and we’re currently developing a bidkit to help prospective platform users win funding.

In the mean time, if you’re interested in using Humap and need more info, drop us a line at [email protected]

"The Humap Team understands digital humanities...[the platform] allowed us to map at-risk and intangible heritage that exist[s] in people's memories, in magazines, flyers and posters."
Seán McGovern Project Manager, Islington’s Pride

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