Mappademia is a project submitted for the JISC student ideas competition which, if it can get 250 votes from the public, would get funding for a piece of software which would allow students or researchers with little or no previous programming experience to easily create mobile mapping applications and share them for free with the public.
The project has been devised by Doctoral Researcher in English and American Studies Matthew Stallard, as part of the University of Manchester’s Digital Humanities programme. As Matthew writes, ‘if we get the required votes Manchester would be at the forefront of promoting the technology to our students and researchers, with potentially innovative uses in many academic subject areas. Mappedemia could act as a tool for a variety of research studies, offering an interactive means of distributing original research, stories, information, or images to assisting projects which seek to provide social benefits to users by disseminating important information and collecting user generated data and content.’
John Speed’s County Palatine of Lancaster map, dated 1610. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
For historians, the app presents an opportunity to plot historic sites onto existing maps or even create maps based on historical research (such as the location of crimes within a particular city during a specific set of years, or identify the movements and residences of a particular set of historic actors); maps which could then be compared with those used by governments or police to understand how a space was used and occupied by citizens themselves.
So if you like the idea of your own easy to create and free to distribute apps to publicize your research, or link up with local cultural institutions or community groups via the university please check out the project website to find out more and click “Vote Now” to ensure Matthew gets the magic 250 votes he needs to get the funding to build the software!