University of the West of England
City Strata is a mobile platform which enables users to explore different layers of Bristol’s heritage, going back to the first maps of the city in 1750. The platform aims to allow developers to author location based…
Jo Reid, Calvium
Peter Insole, Bristol City Council
The City Strata platform was protoyped with the ‘Cinemap’ layer – which provides a way of navigating the city and experiencing Bristol’s cinematic heritage in the spaces where it actually happened. From the Whiteladies Picturehouse pilot to the Lost Cinemas of Castle Park app. The project was a knowledge exchange collaboration with creative economy partner Calvium Ltd and Bristol City Council.
The research sought to address the problem of how to deal with data storage in large-scale heritage apps across multiple points of interest, given the 50MB limit (in the case of Android). The City Strata platform innovated by drawing data from the cloud instead of storing it in the app. This was piloted in the Cinemapping App Prototype which pulls data from Know Your Place (a geo-referenced GIS map containing the whole of Bristol’s historic environment record), drawing records from its Historic Cinemas layer. The project also undertook research and development into users uploading data from the app directly back into the database, exploring crowd-sourcing archive information to feed into the archaeological record used in future planning processes.
Calvium published a white paper entitled, Making Scalable Location-Aware Mobile Apps as a result of the collaboration.
Another outcome of the research was The Lost Cinemas of Castle Park App which uses GPS triggered audio to bring over 100 years of cinema-going in Bristol City Centre to life.
This was a Heritage Sandbox project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), REACT (Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology), one of four UK Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy and is a collaboration between University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Watershed, and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.