HistoryLines: Visualising a Residential Community’s Migrational History, Memory and Shared Experiences

In the HistoryLines project from 2007, we followed the idea of Digital Storytelling. HistoryLines is a web platform that allows individual residents of a particular city to document and tag places they have lived and experienced during the course of their lives. It visualises their ‘historical footprint’ on an interactive map and gives people an idea where their neighbours come from, what identities and stories they have. In doing so, HistoryLines makes a community’s memory and shared experiences visible, thus creates links between residents who have once lived or visited the same place on earth sometime in their history.

On the one hand, this tackles the issue of social isolation in urban environments towards the goal that physical proximity reinforces social proximity between urban residents. On the other hand HistoryLines provides the ability to review and analyse the migrational churn of people between different regions and cities, thus is a valuable tool for urban planners and policy makers in order to forecast ‘economic, environmental and social footprints’ of residents in a country.


  • Klaebe, H., Foth, M., Burgess, J., & Bilandzic, M. (2007) Digital Storytelling and History Lines: Community Engagement in a Master-Planned Development. In Proceedings 13th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM’07). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Heidelberg: Springer. (eprints)



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