Innovating Public History: Using Historypin.

This week’s assignment in History and New Media entailed creating an account with Historypin and pinning some historical photos.

I signed up for an account, confirmed my email, uploaded several images of historic drug stores in Washington, D.C. and pinned them to the map at their appropriate locations.

I am a bit conflicted about my experience with Historypin.  In comparison to other sites we have used such as WordPress, Omeka, and Wikipedia, Historypin was a bit more difficult to use.

While signing up for an account was as simple as clicking the sign up link and entering my desired login information, using various functions of the site were not as simple.

Upon confirming my account, Historypin did not provide much guidance on how to navigate their site.  Wikipedia was much more advanced in this respect.  In fact, the only guidance I received was to further customize my account.

Once I began playing around with the site, I figured out how to upload images and pin them to the map.  The site asks for a title and description of the image, the rights to the image, the date of the image, and the location of where the image was taken.

I found this part of the site to be a bit buggy.  I would enter the correct location of the image and the site would change the address.  In addition, some of my images did not have an exact date, but rather a range of dates.  While Historypin allows for this function, you are only allowed to pick a specific amount of years to “give or take” after selecting a given year.

After pinning a test photo of the Sewall-Belmont House, I learned how to create a tour.

The tour feature was fairly simple to use.  The steps in the process were listed and accompanied by instructions.  I was also given the options to save my draft, skip certain steps, and submit my tour. My tour consisted of historic drug stores in Washington, D.C.

While I enjoyed learning how to use Historypin, I think it is more difficult to use than the sites we have been required to use in the past.  Perhaps this site is not as advanced as the other sites, but. regardless, it could use more instructions and features to make it more user-friendly.


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