Name: Joyce Yu
Role: Historypin intern
Why did you want to intern at Historypin?
I love maps and I love storytelling. Historypin combines those two things together. I’m in what’s known as the Digital Humanities and Historypin is one of my favourite examples of how digital tools can be paired with areas in the Humanities and Social Sciences to create an incredibly unique way to share and display content.
How did you come to hear of the project?
I originally found Historypin by searching through the App store on my iPhone. I was interested in seeing if there were any established applications that allowed users the ability to geolocate their current locations and show them old images or interactive media of the same location. From there, I was lead to the website and different forms of social media associated with Historypin.
Describe an average day for you as a Historypin Intern
Every day brings something different and another cool project to explore. There have been several days where the focus was on uploading stories and photos to finish a project. There could be a few days where I’m meeting participants who are testing the interface of the website and another day where I’m looking at art from World War 1.
What do you do when you’re not at Historypin?
I’m not from London so I’ve spent a lot of time walking around and getting lost in neighbourhoods. I think the best way to explore a city is to get lost and see what unfolds. I also like to pretend that I’m a local, but my tendency to walk around with my neck angling towards the sky trying to find a street sign gives me away, every time. I’m also finishing my thesis on psychogeography and digital mapping so there are days when I’m tucked away in a coffee shop with my laptop.
What’s been your best moment here?
There have been many, but it was a great moment to see images on a spreadsheet become a collection of stories on a finished project (Europeana 1989). It’s also been really fun to see how all the pieces fall together from behind the scenes.
What is the oddest job you’ve been asked to do in the name of Historypin?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything that I’ve done here that’s odd. Although, I had pockets of missing knowledge from World War 1 that I can now say have been successfully filled.
What excites you the most about Historypin?
I love the way that maps and city spaces can be represented with memories and stories. I’ve found myself thinking, “how do we show that on a map?” every time someone shows me a collection of photos or even a spreadsheet of data.
Can you show us a photo you have personally pinned on Historypin?
This is one of my favourite places in my hometown and I grew up walking up and down these streets. Historical factoid: This would have been the first point of contact with the city when new settlers would see when they got off the train.
What’s your favourite photo that has been pinned to the Historypin map and why?
I can’t decide on a single photo that is my favourite, but I love the Remember how we used to and Year of the Bay collections.
What kind of content would you like to see more of on Historypin?
This may only be tangentially related, but I would love to see a collection of people’s individual mental maps overlayed on top of the conventional map. We all see and navigate our city a little differently and it would be really interesting to see how that changes over time.
What do you think the future of Historypin is?
I can only see Historypin growing bigger because of how many bridges it has to different worlds. The projects work on such an incredible interdisciplinary level that brings people from the digital world, history, design, archives…it’s all relevant and everyone’s excited. I see great things.