The DiscoverTotems Project: Social Curation with Mapping

Diane Mueller
Thursday 15:30 - 15:55
Session 3, Track 7, Slot 2

I will discuss what we learned when we built an online mapping community for Native & non-Native youth, educators and community leaders. Our Pacific Northwest First Nations Totem Poles program teaches community members to collect, create, map, and curate content using mobile devices and an easily configurable content management system.

Social curation helps our First Nation participants preserve their culture, language, arts, and writing by engaging participants across generations. Because how content is collected is just as important as the content itself, the program leverages social curation to build communities to harness social media and create “digital repositories” of cultural knowledge.

Geographic data is a key social and technical component of the project — participants use GPS-enabled devices to ‘tag’ the locations of totem poles and to associate photographs and histories collected and written by the participants. The data is then assembled into both event-specific private websites accessible only to participants with the ability to push content to a public website – The project is designed to be easily is designed to be re-deployed for different semesters in educational settings by non-technical event facilitators. Think “hack-a-thons for totem pole trackers”!

In addition to describing the lessons learned, I will also cover issues in Privacy, Copyright, Security of Online Content, and how we leveraged Open Source Geospatial & Cloud technologies to scale and manage our new “digital repositories “.