Crowdsourcing to Save England’s History

October 29, 2013 By IdeaConnection

750px-Bank_Hall_DaffodilsEngland has 345,000 Grade-II listed buildings. These are structures such as stately homes, monuments and bridges that are deemed to be so historically important they cannot be altered or demolished without permission from local authorities.

To help preserve and protect the country’s architectural jewels, English Heritage the organisation that manages these historic sites has proposed turning to the crowd.

Help for Ancient Properties

It is asking history lovers to survey these structures and report their findings. The results will be used to determine how best to deploy resources and help owners whose ancient properties are at risk.

“We’ll have a grass-roots network to spread understanding and appreciation of local heritage so that less of it becomes at risk in the first place,” said Simon Thurley, the Chief Executive of English Heritage.

Successful Pilot

The crowdsourcing initiative follows a successful pilot project that saw volunteers inspect 5,000 landmarks in 19 rural and urban areas. More than half of the volunteers were retired people who got involved to increase their knowledge, And three quarters of those who took part surveyed an average of 13 buildings a day. One in every ten sites was given a ‘vulnerable’ status.

The results of the pilot are being used to develop an app so that people can record data while they are on site.

A Bigger Picture of History

When complete, this new project will deliver the first full picture of the state of all of Britain’s listed heritage. The nationwide crowdsourcing campaign is due to launch soon.

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