Exploring Queensland’s history online

Queensland State Archives (QSA) hold incredible stories, treasured images and historic items that help us understand and remember what it means to be a Queenslander.

Sharing Queensland’s stories, can sometimes be difficult.

QSA currently relies on a variety of digital platforms to share stories, including social media, an archival database and website.

While these are comprehensive platforms, QSA was looking for a new way to share Queensland’s history, and reach the widest audience possible.

Through the Testing Within Government Program (TWiG), QSA collaborated with Gaia Resources to develop a mobile-first website product to share these stories online.

Gaia Resources presented the result of their partnership at the TWiG showcase in 2017

Morgan Strong from Gaia Resources said they approached the problem by looking at what was inside the collection, then modelling the site based on the pictures and information he found.

“The site provides two options for navigating the content — one is over time, the other is via a map,” Morgan said.

“There is a timeline option presenting the photos chronologically. Once you’ve found something of interest, such as the Brisbane River or a bridge, you click through to a listing of related items.

“All the historical pictures are linked to Google maps, giving you a modern perspective so you can compare the difference between the old and new photograph.

“This gives the user an idea of how that place, town or city, has evolved over time, showing the difference in buildings, vegetation and layout of the streetscape.

“One key part of the site development was exploring user experience principles and working closely with our audience to understand their needs.

“Results from product testing provided valuable insights and helped us build a site with great usability.

“One potential future development for the platform is to create a space where other Queensland historical and cultural organisations can share their own treasures and stories.

“This could give regional and remote communities more representation and would also give the audience a richer experience of the state’s shared history.”

You can view the Discovering Queensland prototype here.

The Testing Within Government program provides small and medium enterprises with funding of up to $25,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with Queensland Government to solve business problems by using innovative solutions.

Subscribe to the Advance Queensland eNewsletter to stay up to date with the latest in Queensland innovation news and to find more opportunities to collaborate with Queensland Government.

Exploring Queensland’s history online was originally published in Advance Queensland on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Last updated 25 Oct, 2019
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/au/ )

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