Hi everyone,

In 2009, a team of us at UNC-Chapel Hill got a grant to develop “Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway in North  Carolina,” an extensive web archive that will bring together primary source materials and interpretive essays related to the  history of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We are to launch the site this summer.

One of the features of the database that underlies our site is that, as nearly as possible, everything presented is geo-tagged, or given a location in space as well as time.  Additionally, many of the materials we have are actually historical maps, which are being “geo-referenced” (overlaid on a present landscape).

In my dreams, I had also hoped that we’d be able to develop a dynamic main interface for the site that would be map-based.  Although we *are* going to have a map-based browse feature that will allow content to be discovered based on the location it pertains to, the geospatial dimension of our project is going to be more limited than I had hoped, due to limited funding and programming capacities at present.  Yet, I have envisioned in my own mind how my *ideal* would look.  The ideal would combine a current map of the Blue Ridge Parkway with some dynamic features that would communicate a few basic tidbits about the Parkway’s past, including pace of construction, that would be relevant to the materials being presented.

I’d like to put my ideal out there for folks to look at and help me imagine how and whether it might eventually be done.  I have ventured some in the past into the use of Google’s various tools and think they offer a lot of promise here, but don’t know enough really to propose specifically what we might do — or how.

I’m uploading an image (PDF, linked below) of my hand-drawn mockup as a basis for discussion. Look forward to meeting everyone!


Anne Whisnant