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Computing

The plan so far is that we will have two web sites and a computer room in our new office in West Barn Yard, Abbotsbury, set up to allow the capture and editing of the material gathered by our members.

The web sites will consist of:

    1. A page or two on the Local Heritage Initiative’s own site explaining who we are what we’re trying to do. This will be looked after by Nigel Melville and will link to:
    2. Our own site which will, for the first few years, be an accumulation of all the data we have collected. It will be arranged by Sections so that anyone who is going out to do a job – say to interview Mrs X about her wartime experiences, or to look at a bronze age barrow to see whether it is still above ground – can check to see that no-one else has done the job. Also, anyone, anywhere in the world, who is interested in what we are doing can explore and enjoy our results.

    Data to go on the web site will be collected and edited in our computer room. This will be equipped to handle pictures, maps, sound and video recordings. We will have a reasonable kit of software and digital data. The Estate, for instance, are letting us have their Ordnance Survey maps. There are also other sources of useful maps and aerial photos which we shall be able to access.

    Our aim is to have a computer which is capable of storing and backing up large amounts of digital data. We want to be able to handle:

    1. Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps and overlays got from other people and generated by ourselves

    2. Pictures – photographs of people, places, objects, paintings, drawings. Most people now have digital cameras.

    3. Sound – music, voices, recording of the sea, birds, winds. We will be buying one and maybe more sound and video recorders.
    4. Video clips – interviews, celebrations

    5. Text – articles about Abbotsbury, descriptions of buildings, people, events, documents from the past.

    In time we should be able to produce the detailed maps which some Sections (e.g. the Archaeologists) will need, and we hope to have help from the Estate in doing this. Mark Gurowich, who does the mapping for the Estate, will run some practical seminars for us on how all this works.

    While it’s fun buying high-tech kit, I think we should try to save money wherever we can. For example, we have budgeted to buy a high resolution digital still camera, but very possibly members have adequate cameras we can use instead. It will be very unlike real life if, two years hence, we don’t find a use for the money we have saved.

    The idea is that all our data – text, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, maps, sound recordings, videos, etc. - will be in electronic format so that once it is on the machine and backed up we can’t lose it. By the same token we don’t have to curate an unwieldy collection of precious stuff. It is also immediately available via the web to anyone who is interested.

    When data is ready to be seen, it will be uploaded onto our web site at www.abbotsbury-heritage.org.uk. Andy King has kindly designed these pages

    Any comments, queries, criticisms or suggestions to peter@abbotsbury.co.uk