Historypin, timetoast, and the Brooklyn Museum website have embraced the idea that if you let the public have a shot at contributing to the development of a project, you’re going to end up with something really fantastic. After the success of collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Youtube, these newest projects continue to build upon the success of online collaboration. And of course, they’re free and open to the public.
Timetoast, launched in 2008, is a timeline web application that allows users to create their own timelines and upload corresponding media for them.
Timetoast also allows users to insert a photo or link into each event entered, providing viewers with a possible multi-media view of created timelines. The timelines have a neat appearance – events quickly appear as you scroll across over the timeline, and you can click on events to reveal more details about them. When your timeline is ready and you are willing, you can publish it online, allowing other users to view your creation.
The Brooklyn Museum offers two interactive tagging games that allow visitors to the website to tag digitized collections. In “Tag you’re it!” you join a posse of other taggers providing tag labels to the collections. You can even measure your tag superiority against others by viewing your ranking in the game.
Although it might seem like an editing headache to think about all the incorrectly tagged objects that may appear on the website, these clever folks have also developed a game that does the editing for them – “Freeze Tag”. Contested or challenged tags will come up in this game. It is your job to decided if the disputed tags should stay or be rejected. Each tag-editing provides you with one point.
Every twenty points opens up your reward – a video of the digital lab’s choosing. I found myself getting into this game rather quickly – I wanted to see my video reward (this time, a video of Salvador Dali on the 1950’s game show “What’s My Line”!), and in the process, I got to view some really fantastic objects housed at the Brooklyn Museum.
Finally, Historypin, launched in 2010, is a program that has partnered with Google to allow visitors to “pin” old photos to their specific location on Google Maps. One of the great features about this website is that it allows you to view the old photo over the modern day “street view”, giving you an excellent comparative glance.
You can search for photos by place or time or both. And historypin has also created a lesson plan page that provides teachers with different ideas for how to use historypin in the classroom. The project is not even a year-old and already it’s fantastic to see how quickly it has grown.
Any others you’d like to share? I’m always on the lookout!