03 March 2014

'Mapping Brisbane History' Website is Launched

I attended the launch of the Mapping Brisbane History website over at Cooper Plains on Saturday 1 March, and a very fine afternoon it was too. Among the 40 or so attendees were some of the cream of the crop of the southern Brisbane local history scene, and although I had to leave a bit earlier than expected it was great catching up. Various pollies were also to there to speak, show support, and to quite fairly remind us where the money came from.

Above: Launch of the Mapping Brisbane History Website, 1 March 2014 (C Dawson)

The concept of Mapping Brisbane History (let's call it MBH) is to depict contemporary maps of Brisbane online and overlay them with sites of historical interest from various time periods. Each individual site label can be clicked on to display historical information and images.

The technology works direct from the MBH website (allow a couple of minutes for file loading during first-time use) although if you have Google Earth (and you should) the files can be downloaded directly into that.

The project has been established with three initial Pilot Study Areas, which are Fairfield/Annerley, Sunnybank/Banoon, and Moorooka/Tarragindi. The plan is to eventually extend the mapping to other areas of Brisbane, so the assistance and involvement of historians from other suburbs is being called for.

MBH was initiated by the Coopers Plains Local History Group and funded with a Brisbane City Council Community Grant. The project team included historians Dr Neville Buch, Beryl Roberts and Janice Cooper, and professional surveyor Chris Burns. So well done to all of them.

The next stage of the MBH project will also involve Aboriginal history specialist Ray Kerkhove and myself.

I had a drive around the MBH yesterday and loved it. It's a splendid concept that has been very well executed. I also very much like the idea of lots of different historians coming together to work on this project as it is expanded around Brisbane. Interested participants can email the team here.

The whole thing got me thinking about some of the work on maps and history I did during my undergraduate days, so coming up soon on the Boggo Blog will be a look at Aboriginal cultural landscapes and how western mapping became part of the process of European invasion/settlement in Australia.

In the meantime, why not pop over to the MBH website and have a look around there?

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