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Expert Q&A :: Historypin for family history

For our Expert Q&A on Thursday, May 9 we had Rebekkah and Ella from the Historypin team to answer your questions on how this online photo archive can assist your research and how to use it to contribute to your community’s history. Thanks again to Rebekkah and Ella for giving us all the benefit of their time and expertise.

Please find the transcript of the Q&A and links below.

Don’t forget our Expert Q&As happen every Thursday night on the Inside History Magazine facebook page

When: NSW – ACT – VIC – TAS: 8:30-9:30pm AEDT | QLD: 7:30-8:30pm | WA: 5:30-6:30pm | NT: 7:00-8:00pm | SA: 8:00-9:00pm | Weekly on Thursdays nights!

Please find the transcript of the Q&A and links below.

Summary of links from the Q&A:



Transcript of Expert Q&A – Historypin

Our Expert Q&A with the Historypin team starts in 1 hour at 8:30pm AEST. Tonight we’ll be answering your questions on using Historypin to share your old photos, videos, audio files and pin them to a Google map of our world. Please ask your questions in a comment below, and Rebekkah or Ella will answer in a following comment.

Comment: IHM: Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us. Please welcome Rebekkah and Ella from Historypin to tonight’s Q&A.
A. IHM: Tip :: Keep refreshing your browser to see the answers as they appear and remember to look through the entire list of comments, as Facebook may order your questions and answers out of sequence.
A. Ella: Hi everyone! Thanks for having us.
A. Rebekkah: Hi guys, thanks so much for having us!
A. IHM: It really is our pleasure guys, thanks for giving us your time!
A. Linda: Facebook is a PAIN that way.
A. Carmel: Hi guys
A. Joan: Easy enough to do
A. IHM: Nice to see you here Linda, Carmel and Joan
A. Linda: Love HistoryPin – but haven’t pinned anything for ages. Must do some.
A. Rebekkah: @Linda Thanks, we’d love to see you involved. Check out some getting started guides here
A. IHM: Do you have a link to your channel, Linda?
A. Linda: Stumbling round in dark…. aah, found it! (I think)

Q. From Andrew: Hey! I’d heard it might soon be possible to pin photos from a Flickr account straight onto Historypin – is this true and how far away might this be?
A. Linda: Now THAT would be GOOD!
A.Rebekkah: @Andrew We are very keen to do this and are working on ways to allow you to upload directly on Flickr. In the meantime, there is a nifty tool that one of our users (@JamesinEaling) created that allows you to extract our geo-tagged photos from Flickr and upload them to Historypin using our bulk uploader. You can read more here:!topic/historypin/5bavQEh_BVI

Q. From Chez:  Is there a specific resolution that you prefer?
A.Rebekkah: We recommend about 2MP so your image looks nice and sharp. We do resize higher quality images to protect them, but this means that if you start off with too low a resolution it can look a bit grainy
Q(b): Chez: What about scanned images?! What settings would you recommend?
A. Rebekkah: I think usually the recommendation is to scan at the highest resolution your scanner offers – that way you get a really good, high quality digital copy to save and keep (this could be anything from 300 -1000 dpi or more). But you then might resize the image for different web uses to save on uploading times, online storage.

Q. From Lynda: This was all new to me so I was fascinated to read all about Historypin via the link. Is everything backed up somewhere? Or does everyone’s uploading only “live” as long as the organisation?
A. Rebekkah : @Lynda Currently everything lives on Historypin and we are planning to be around for a while! But we are also enhancing our tools so that it will be easier to download your content and data, as well as upload it. And we are also doing lots of work with open data and cultural heritage networks such as Europeana and exploring options for how content and data can be shared and preserved elsewhere.

Q. From Sharon: I know nothing about History Pin and would appreciate a summary and the benefits. Sorry to be naive.
A. Rebekkah: @Sharon Historypin is a space for people to collaborate around history. You can share photos, video, audio and pin them to a map and time so people can browse locations to find content. you can create tours and collections with your content to tell stories. Here is an intro video and a great account of someone pinning their grandad’s photos|map/index/#!/geo:31.626256,-49.392861/zoom:5/
A. Carmel: This looks great.
A. Sharon: I agree Carmel, I look forward to investigating more over the weekend and adding photos
A. Ella: Looking forward to seeing your additions Sharon!
A. Debbie: I’m a newby too to HistoryPin… hoping to get a group of our school students involved in the next few weeks. Just early exploring of the program now.
A. Rebekkah: Great! Nice example here

Q. From Tracey: Do you have to have an account to do this. (Quite new to this)?
A. Rebbekah: You can browse the map without an account. To add material, you need a Gmail account. Soon you will be able to login with other services like Facebook and twitter. everything is free to use and access
A. Tracey: Thanks.

Q. From Linda: I’m wondering, IH folks, if we should have a Historypin theme for a week, or a month? Like everyone go out this month, and photograph your local war memorial and pin it up. Next month do your cemetery? Next month? The local pub! Local pubs have an important place in local history.
A. Rebekkah: @Linda Love it! We have some thematic projects already that you can add to (eg. Grandparents, Olympics, San Francisco history but would love to see other similar themes and challenges set by the community. Pinning one photo of the same spot every day would also be cool
A. IHM: We’d have to second that love – I like the way you’re thinking, let’s do it
A. Sharon: What a great idea Linda. I would love to be part of that. It is an excuse to get away from the laptop too
A. Linda: How about cenotaphs first? They are really easy for me – I will just go and grab a few and upload. IH – you could call for nominations for the next one. We could get some fun answers.
A. IHM: Let our friends here decide – I like it! Cenotaphs is a great place to start, then we’ll let the crowd choose.
A. Linda: Hmmm, I have pinned one (oops, it is plaque, not a cenotaph in the usual meaning of the word), but I am having trouble finding a URL for just that to paste back here.
Q(b): Linda: One Cenotaph added. Question for the Historypin team – for tags, do you need to put tags that are multiple words in talkies, or do you just separate tags with a comma?
A. Rebekkah: best to separate all tags with commas. Anything between commas will be considered a phrase.
A. IHM: I’m thinking we’ll have to run a best photo competition on all the photos loaded up as well, with categories & guest judges.
A. Linda: Might go and pin another one….
A. Linda: Cripes – just found a photo I’ve been looking for four months. It is an honour roll, and it is hiding in the war memorials. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Q. From Jennifer:  I just viewed the intro on You Tube…very well done. I loved this part…’explore the world’s history and add a piece of your own’. Does it allow people to get in touch with each other?
A. Rebekkah: Thanks – hope you can add lots of pieces!
A. Rebekkah: At the moment you can post a comment on another person’s photo/video/audio. They will then see it when they check their comment feed. At the moment we don’t have private messaging, but we are working on more ways to make it easier for people to communicate with each other.
A. Jennifer: Thank you.
A. Ella: Thanks Jennifer!

Q. From Debbie: My school would like our students to create individual tours, can you have more than one tour on the one channel? My school is in Brisbane.
A. Rebekkah: @Debbie You can have more than one Tour on a Channel. We recommend that you have one Channel for you class, and all the kids add material to that. They can each create a tour with the material they pin. You can also favourite content from other Channels. As you’re in Brisbane, there is some great material from State Library of Queensland
A. Rebekkah: There are some school resources here and this is a good blog post about how a college class created tours on Historypin to show hidden histories – could be a nice model to follow. Click to view.
Q(b): Debbie: Thanks Rebekkah. Jjust wondering… if we have one channel for our kids, do all the pics they post go into a common collection folder too? Then each student extracts from that pool to create their own ‘stories’, is that the process here?
A. Rebekkah: All the photos will go into your Channel and be accessible. When you go to build a Tour, you will be able to search through your content and add the relevant photos, or select from your favourites.

Q. From IHM: All this talk of crowdsourcing has got me thinking Rebekkah, what do you have in the pipeline that we should be excited about?
A. Rebekkah: We’re working on some new tools that will enable “collaborative mystery solving” With the new tools, everyone will be able to help improve / identify the locations and dates for historical content and enrich content with people tags, keywords, links and other relevant data. Enabling lots of online activity, but also inspiring community sessions like this, where we got together with a local history society in a pub to identify some photos in the local museum collection (@merlreading)
A. Joan: That sounds fantastic!
A. IHM: Second that Joan!
A. Linda: See, someone else likes the pub! Janne where are you?

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