During this session both groups were given the time to prepare their project proposal. The first group comprises of the three U-Talent students. The second one is made up of a History and Philosophy of Science master’s student and a University College Utrecht undergraduate student. While these groups were working, Ivar showed them projects that might inspire their end product.
He started with Histomap, which is an interactive map that focuses on Utrecht. On it, users can add markers, stories, pictures and videos to help the history of Utrecht to be told in all its facets. However, there are no markers on the Neude so far. Excitingly, this can be discussed with one of the co-creators of Histomap, Jan Maas, when he visits on the 11th of October.
Next, Ivar introduced them to Geocontexting Printers and Publishers 1450-1800 which visualizes the locations of former printers and publishers on a geographical interface with georeferenced historic map layers. For the end products, this site is particularly interesting as it allows you to uncover specific biographical data — showing the lives of people and where they were located throughout history.
Lastly, Ivar showed them the Georeferencer tool made available by the Utrecht University Library. Here, you can overlay (historic) maps on each other which can show interesting changes in the city over time. For the Neude, about 100% of maps have already been georeferenced. This is a tool that can help the groups a great deal in visualizing Neude’s past in their eventual products.
Near the end of the session, the two groups shortly pitched the initial ideas about their products. The objective was to seek collaboration as the U-Talent students suggested the merging of the now separate projects. This would make sense because they are keen on programming while the university students are excited about the historical content.
However, we should meditate on the negatives and positives of collaboration first. It is a great idea in terms of sharing knowledge and bridging disciplines as this could broaden each group’s viewpoints on the project.
Yet, it could also pose problems, especially in terms of merging groups. Everyone would want to prioritize the ideas they had for their own project initially and it would be hard to concede certain aspects of their apps.
Ideally, they would collaborate yet create their own end products. This way, important facets don’t get lost in the teamwork, they can bounce ideas off each other and offer/receive an outsider’s perspective to ensure optimal outcomes of the apps. So, we are currently thinking of ways to work together while still making sure both groups create their own product.
All in all, it was a productive session that offered exciting tools for the groups to work with and get inspiration from. It also helped inform both teams what the other was working on and enabled them to consider new possibilities together.
By Anna Tchitcherine