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Type: Progetto interno

Web Applications for the Future Internet

GeoMemories offers a new way to experience the history and the geography: an historical and geographical atlas, based on Web 2.0 technology, which brings together a unique collection of historical maps, whose navigation through space and time lines opens extraordinary views on the collective historical memory.
The GeoMemories project is a collaboration between IIT and AFN (national archive of aerial photos), a section of the Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation (ICCD) with headquarters in Rome. Edited by AFN are kept millions of aerial images from several funds ranging from early 900 to date and constitute a fundamental heritage documentation of the Italian landscape of the last century. The fund upon which the IIT has worked is mainly the one of aerial photos taken by the Royal Air Force (RAF).
In fact, in the period between 1943 and 1945, RAF has performed thousands of flights over much of the Italian territory. The purpose of these flights was the recognition of possible military targets and the subsequent assessment of the effects of the bombing. For this purpose the aircraft were installed with the photogrammetric cameras which were triggered millions of images, with medium scales from 1:10000 to 1:50000. These images are, in quality and quantity, the main source of the project GeoMemories because they provide a large spatial and temporal coverage of the Italian territory in the period before the economic boom and, therefore, when the status of the territory was still the one that had been sedimenting over centuries.
Among the other funds held at the AFN is also mentioned the so-called Base Flight, carried out by the Aeronautical Italian Group with cartographic purposes between 1954 and 1956 and that maps the entire Italian territory.
We have also published a series of beautiful images that are part of the Cadastre Leopoldine regarding the territory of Pisa, which was provided by the Region of Tuscany.
GeoMemories has been created with the aim of making this extraordinary heritage accessible easily, also urging an active participation by users, who may, after viewing the pictures, interact with the application communicating information, memories, photos, movies and other data to integrate in the website. For this reason we have chosen to use as a cartographic base platform Google Earth, now became part of everyday use for a large portion of Internet users. We superimpose raster and vector images as layers of information on the Google Earth map and associate information on the areas covered by the service. The layers of photographic content superimposed on the Google Earth map can be selected and made progressively transparent to allow the visualization of changes over time with greater ease and effectiveness.
GeoMemories is part of a category of software called "Historical Geographic Information System" and can be a tool for the navigation of (linked) open data with historical-geographical content.
The fields of application of the project are clearly many, ranging from the historical documentation to the study of archaeological evidence, passing through the use as a planning tool or aid to the Civil Defense, the evaluation of the use of the land, the possibility to integrate results of researches on the territory...
A special note deserves the opportunity to create, starting from GeoMemories, interactive digital objects for teaching purposes to be included in the process of modernization of the Italian school in which, thanks to legislation and regional, national and European funding, begun the use of Multimedia Interactive whiteboards (IWB), Tablet and other tools. For this purpose GeoMemories will be equipped with features and tools that can be used by teachers to create systems of storytelling and interactive multimedia training modules.
Today, with the publication of approximately 300 images has already been possible to document the impressive damage caused by the Second World War, a number of major anthropogenic changes of our land, the coastal erosion in the area of the Arno mouth, the existence of riverbeds of the Serchio and Arno rivers in the town of Pisa, as well as various archaeological evidence.
You can find the beta version of GeoMemories at www.geomemories.org (to be used with the browsers Firefox and Chrome). Requires the installation of the GoogleEarth plug-in.


External Partecipants: Elizabeth Jane Shepherd (AFN-ICCD), Giuseppe Di Gennaro (AFN-ICCD), Fabrizio Falchi (ISTI)
From 01/04/2010 to 31/12/2013