Session Idea: From American Memory to David Rumsey and Beyond: Curating Maps Online

This is an action-oriented, idea-gathering session. I am interested exchanging notes with librarians, archivists, historians, technologists, and museum folks about the most innovative ways to curate a collection of old maps online. So I imagine that part of this session would be focused on gathering a list of the best sites currently out there and exchanging notes on what we like and don’t like about them: their organization, the features that they do or do not have, their audience and how they reach it. The other part would be taking a case study and planning an online exhibit for it.

The case study for this session is an online representation of Charles O. Paullin’s excellent Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932). Apart from the significant set of decisions choices demanded by map curation in general, which we’ll discuss in some detail, atlases pose a number of questions to curators: how should users navigate the collection as a whole? Page by page or section by section? What is the relationship of map to text in an online environment? Does the online curation of an atlas such as this call for new introductory essays? The emphasis of this project is on innovation, so no idea is too crazy. And happily, this project will actually be built. So help us make it happen!

Session Ideas: Mobile, GIS, Digital Publishing, DAM, Events, Ecommerce

Mobile – We are launching our mobile website this week and I would like to get feedback and constructive criticism, perhaps in a session similar to the mobile crit room they had at museums and the web. I am also interested in seeing what other types of mobile apps and mobile websites other attendees have created.


Top 5 Tech Problems:

At PHMC we have a little bit a lot of everything. It is impossible to list only my top tech problem, so I have narrowed it down to my top 5. I would love to talk to anyone that has experience with any of the following topics. Even just a short conversation at lunch and exchange of contact information would be helpful.

While I have already done some research and talked to a few vendors about their products, it would be helpful to hear from anyone that has completed major projects in any of these categories. Technology is an important part, but I’m equally interested in any tips about processes and workflows.

GIS – Our Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) and PA Historical Marker database are very outdated and in need of migration to new technology.

Digital Publishing – We are interested in publishing digital versions of PA Heritage magazine and any books that we publish in the future.

Digital Asset Management – Our online state archives pages are created in FrontPage and all of the 300,000+ files (jpgs, pdfs, etc) are dumped into folders. Need I say more?

Events – We have over 20 historic sites and museums throughout PA, plus historic preservation, archives, PA Civil War 150 road show, etc. I’m looking for a solution for our staff to easily add events and syndicate them across multiple sites, whether a hosted service (does anything like ArtistData exist for museums?) or do it yourself (example: collaborative calendar).

Ecommerce – We currently use the clunky, outdated Yahoo Stores and would like to migrate to a new hosted ecommerce platform by the end of the year.