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Carleton University Launches "Heritage Crowd" Project

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--June 16, 2011.

How can we define 'sense of place'? What makes a place special? What stories, buildings, places, people, define it? Carleton University in Ottawa has launched a project that it calls "'HeritageCrowd," which it hopes will give members of the public the tools to define the cultural heritage of their place, wherever and whatever it may be. The project's leaders plan to begin by researching the Pontiac in West Quebec, and Renfrew County in Ontario.

The "Heritage Crowd" project is directed by Dr. Shawn Graham with the assistance of Nadine Feuerherm and Guy Massie. The target research areas are those with a low percentage of Internet users.

larger_out.pngNormally, a "crowdsourcing" project -- where anyone can contribute information -- relies on websites to solicit information and allow participation. However, the organizers of this project recognize that Internet access is not a given for everyone who might have an interest in participating, and have set up the project up so that anyone (even those with a limited amount of technological background) will be able to contribute their stories, knowledge, and photographs to the project.

Participants can use cellphone text messages (SMS), leave a voicemail, submit a report through our website
(heritagecrowd.org) directly or send an e-mail to report@heritagecrowd.org.

In addition, "The Heritage Crowd Project" will provide a platform for small museums, heritage organizations and cultural groups to tell their stories electronically and participate in online collection exhibitions, thereby further exposing the rich heritage of the region (heritagecrowd.org/stories).