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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Crowd-sourcing Wales’ Favourite Building





Aberystwyth University Computer Science undergraduate, Daniel Drave, explains his work in the Royal Commission’s Data and Technology team:
 
As the developer of the My Favourite Building mobile application and website service, I have been able to expand my knowledge of the professional working world, expand on my skills in computer programming and contribute to a programme of delivery with the Royal Commission in Aberystwyth. My work placement is officially with a policy division in the Welsh Government, CyMAL: Museums Archives & Libraries, and the placement with the Royal Commission is an extension of that.

Dan at work on the project.
Tom Pert, On-line Development Manager at the Royal Commission, presented to CyMAL the idea of a crowd-sourcing digital heritage mobile application to support user-contribution to the People’s Collection Wales website. As I had gained suitable skills from studying Computer Science at Aberystwyth University, I offered to lead the development of the app.

My Favourite Building homepage.
The crowd-sourcing app will allow users to photograph their favourite historic building using the camera on their smartphone. They can then enter some information about why it is their favourite building and upload the record to a web service. The web service provides an attractive user-interface for viewing their own, and other users’, contributions and offers access to other services, including profile management and quick searches. Site administrators or local community project leaders will also have the ability to create new projects, allowing users to upload new content for a wide variety of topics. Projects could include ‘My Local Pub’ or ‘My favourite heritage site’. The app is designed to be flexible and it’s hoped it will be used in various situations, from recreational use to educational workshops.


Data entry screen (left) and completed record screen (right) on the My Favourite Building app

The project is in the final stages of development and a prototype of both the app and website will be available for user testing by mid-February. The app will be available for the Android operating system, and the website has been optimized for Mozilla Firefox.

If you would like to know more about the My Favourite Building project, please contact: tom.pert@rcahmw.gov.uk

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