Announcing “The Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM)”
In this brief blog, I will provide a description of my project, discuss the importance of my project, and present the intended functionality of my project. The hope is that the discussion of this project may inspire others to embark on similar projects as well as utilize the completed project for personal, professional and educational purposes.
My 2013-2014 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) project is titled the “Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM).” The VBRCHM is the first step of a larger project, the Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Center (VBRCHC). As its name implies, the VBRCHM is an on-line interactive map that will operate as a virtual cultural heritage tour of important historical and contemporary sites that are important to the history, culture and heritage of Romulus, Michigan’s African American community. The VBRCHM is being designed to serve as a research and educational tool and resource for k-12 and undergraduate students, as well as for the community at-large. The map will identify and describe sites in Romulus, Michigan, that are important to the culture, history and heritage of the African-American community. The points of interest sites in Romulus will be aggregated by time, type of events, biographies and various movement(s) significance.
Why is it important?:
Digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage is an important mission in the digital age. Providing access to K-12 and undergraduate students and educators, as well as the community at large, is the largest challenge. With the increase in technology and digitization, students are accessing information via the internet in increasing numbers. Furthermore, educators are also utilizing information via the internet in equally increasing numbers. Thus, digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage; especially in small localized communities such as Romulus, is extremely important to the educational development of K-12 and undergraduate students. With that being said, it is important that more and more projects and initiatives dedicated to the digitizing and preserving of African American history and heritage emerge.
I am building the web-site using Twitter Bootstrap; in addition, I am using Leaflet for mapping. For the imaging of points of interest, I will personally take all photographs. Further, for points of interest, the map will include markers that can be clicked on to display information, pictures and/or video, as well as URL links for each site. I am designing the VBRCHM to be extremely user friendly and simple since K-12 students will be a significant population of users.