Topothek: A Citizen Science Tool for Preserving and Sharing Local History
Topothek is an innovative online platform designed to collect, preserve, and display memories and images of the past. As a citizen science tool, it enables local populations to share and access historical material and knowledge, primarily held in private hands. Let’s dive into the features, objectives, and benefits of Topothek.
What is Topothek?
Topothek is an online archive that focuses on:
- Making locally relevant historical material and knowledge accessible online.
- Collaborating with the local population to contribute to the archive.
- Offering a regional historical source of reference, preserving and sharing privately-held historical material.
Topothek is already available in various European countries, allowing for the comparison of regional historical conditions on a European level, showcasing the diversity and commonalities of everyday life.
Topothek aims to make Europe’s historical heritage digitally available on the Internet. Users can find image or file content sorted by key words, date, and perspective on the map. Its objectives include:
- Modern presentation: Topothek offers a unifying database functionality that aggregates dispersed material, documents, and knowledge. It can be easily expanded with search, link, and location functionalities.
- Regional preservation: Topothek managers should be rooted in their local community, allowing them to effectively identify and ensure high-quality indexing and localization of topotheque entries.
- Digital unification: Topothek’s indexation and localization functionality enables the virtual unification of historical material scattered in private hands. Users can search for specific terms and view all relevant entries.
Topothek leverages the advantages of a database to make historical heritage accessible online:
- Users can find entries based on indexes, dates, and localizations, allowing them to answer questions about specific locations, time periods, or subjects.
- Image markings help users easily identify indexed objects and people in images.
- Crossfading historic maps enable users to locate the sites of entries in their original surroundings.
- Users can open multiple search results in parallel for easy comparison, answer questions online, and even contribute as guests.
- Topothek managers benefit from a simple input structure and can use the platform as an electronic archive. They can save high-resolution data and access it with a password, while users are only presented with low-resolution images.
Topothek is a powerful citizen science tool that empowers local communities to preserve and share their historical heritage online. By combining modern presentation, regional preservation, and digital unification, Topothek offers an accessible platform for users to explore and contribute to local history. Join the Topothek community and help uncover the stories of our past.
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