How Will Historic Sites Be Interpreted?

30 06 2010

A wonderful, thought-provoking post by John Hennessy at Fredericksburg Remembered.  Static, on site interpretative devices like the battlefield wayside exhibit will likely be replaced by wireless digital media in the not too distant future.  And consumers will also likely have a number of sources from which to choose.  While it’s true that such services will not be cheap to produce, I’m not sure that means all of them will be commercial ventures.  I suspect there are a number of folks out there who might be motivated to develop these programs by the same forces that compel them to share their research free of charge in the forms of websites and blogs.  Giving it away is still a great way to stick it to the man.

Those guys at Fredericksburg always provide great food for thought.

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30 06 2010
Craig Swain

Harry,

One of the ironic twists to my work with the historical marker database – people are now using the data I enter in order to “drive by” and read the markers without stopping to READ the markers. The HMDB application offers the data (via an API for the developers) for anyone willing to spend the time and code a front end interface. And some are out there already for iPhones and Droids.

Perhaps someday all the physical markers will be removed, and people simply access electronic versions of the item. I’ve heard of people working their way out of a job. Maybe I am working my way out of a hobby!

Craig.

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