DigiDublin

Keith Feighery Major Project Report 3rd October 2008

A report submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MA in Digital Media Technologies with the supervision of Tony Murray.

Dublin Institute of Technology

DECLARATION I hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of M.A. in Digital Media Technologies is entirely my own work and has not been submitted for assessment for any academic purpose other than in partial fulfilment for that stated above.

Signed: Date:

(Candidate)

Plagiarism of any kind and falsification of data in any way are strictly forbidden and constitute serious breaches of examination regulations.

Table of Contents
GLOSSARY.................................................................................................................... I LIST OF ACRONYMS....................................................................... .........................II 1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................................... ...................1 1.1 Overview..................................................................................................... ...........1 1.2 Background........................................................................................ ....................2 1.3 Context...................................................................................................... .............3 1.4 Project Aim............................................................................................................ .4 1.5 Scope of Project........................................................................... ..........................4 2 RESEARCH ........................................................................................................ ........6 2.1 Questionnaires............................................................................................... .........6 2.2 Interviews...................................................................................................... .........7 2.3 Museums and Exhibitions.............................................................. ........................7 2.3.1 Dublin Thousand Years Experience – City Hall Dublin........................... .......7 2.3.2 William Butler Yeats Exhibition, National Library.......................................... 8 2.3.3 Museum of London................................................................ .........................8 2.3.4 London Docklands Museum........................................................................ ....8 2.3.5 London Transport Museum................................................................. ............9 2.3.6 Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)........................................................ ........9 2.4 Libraries and Archive Research....................................................................... .......9 2.4.1 National Library of Ireland (NLI).......................................................... .........9 2.4.2 National Photographic Archive.......................................... ..........................10 2.4.3 Office of Public Works (OPW) Archive, St Stephen’s Green..........................10 2.4.4 The Royal Irish Academy................................................................ ..............10 2.4.5 Irish Institute of Architecture (IIA).............................................................. ..10 2.4.6 Richview Architecture Library, UCD.................................... ........................11 2.4.7 Trinity College Map Library...................................................... ...................11 2.5 Websites.............................................................................................................. ..11 2.6 Research Conclusion ........................................................................ ...................12 3 CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT....................................................................... ...13 3.1 Visual Axes ..................................................................................................... .....13 3.2 Anchor Points....................................................................................... ................14 3.3 Application Lens...................................................................... ............................15 3.4 Maps............................................................................................................... ......18 3.5 Sidebar....................................................................................... ..........................19 4 APPLICATION DESIGN....................................................................................... ...20 4.1 Use Case Overview......................................................................... .....................20 4.2 Application Overview....................................................................................... ....20 4.2.1 Timeline Slider.................................................................................... ..........21 4.2.2 Timeline Maps............................................................................................... 22 4.2.3 Sidebar......................................................................................................... .23 4.2.4 Reference Maps................................................................ ............................26 4.2.5 Annotated Maps............................................................................... .............27 4.2.6 Audio Text..................................................................................... ................28 4.2.7 Video ................................................................................................. ...........29 4.2.8 Audio.................................................................................. ..........................29 5 PRODUCTION.................................................................................................. ........31 5.1 Flash Architecture................................................................................................ .31 5.2 Production of Digital Artefacts................................................................... ..........31 5.2.1 Audio.................................................................................. ..........................32 5.2.2 Video.................................................................................................. ...........32 5.2.3 Screen Resolution............................................................... ..........................33

5.2.4 Digital Images........................................................................ ......................33 5.3 Production Process........................................................................... ....................33 5.3.1 Continual Assessment process............................................. .........................33 6 EVALUATION AND TESTING............................................................. ..................36 Anchor Point Issues....................................................................................... ............36 Audio changes required.............................................................................. ...............37 Sidebar re-design................................................................................................ .......37 Audio Player........................................................................................................ ......39 Video Player & Placement..................................................................................... ....40 Interface Design ................................................................................. ......................42 Opacity slider and reference map usability........................................................... .....46 6.1 Testing & Evaluation Conclusion......................................................... ................47 7 FUTURE WORK................................................................................................. ......49 7.1 Scope of Project........................................................................ ...........................49 7.2 Commercialisation of Project............................................................ ...................50 8 BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................................................................. ....51 8.1 Books.......................................................................................... .........................51 8.2 Historical Documents........................................................................... ................52 8.3 Websites..................................................................................... ..........................53 8.4 DVD......................................................................................................... ............54 APPENDIX 1.............................................................................................................. ..55 Production Schedule............................................................................................ ......55 APPENDIX II................................................................................... ...........................58 Map Analysis.......................................................................................................... ...58 APPENDIX III................................................................................................ .............59 Questionnaires................................................................................................... ........59

Table of Figures
FIGURE 1.1 : ORIGINAL ATH CLIATH AND DUBH LINN SETTLEMENTS.....1 FIGURE 1.2 : JOHN SPEED MAP 1610........................................................ ..............3 FIGURE 3.3 : MAIN TIMELINE INTERFACE............................. ..........................13 FIGURE 3.4 : IMPLEMENTATION OF Z-AXIS................................................... ...14 FIGURE 3.5 : DEMONSTRATION OF ANCHOR POINTS.............................. ......15 FIGURE 3.6: LIFFEY AT THE TIME OF VIKING DUBLIN.................................16 FIGURE 3.7 : COURSE OF THE LIFFEY IN BROOKING’S 1728 MAP.............17 FIGURE 4.8 : TIMELINE INTERFACE............................................ .......................21 FIGURE 4.9 : NLI MEDIEVAL TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP.................................. ...22 FIGURE 4.10 : NATIONAL LIBRARY OF IRELAND, MAP OF MEDIEVAL DUBLIN ................................................................................................ .......................23 FIGURE 4.11 : BERNARD DE GOMME, 1673 MAP........................................... ....23 FIGURE 4.12 : SIDEBAR – RELATED IRISH & WORLD FACTS COLLAPSED ...................................................................................................................................... ..24 FIGURE 4.13 : SIDEBAR – RELATED IRISH & WORLD FACTS EXPANDED 25 FIGURE 4.14 : ADDITIONAL MAPS AND DRAWINGS....................... .................26 FIGURE 4.15 : USE OF REFERENCE MAPS.............................................. ............27 FIGURE 4.16 : ANNOTATED MAP SCREEN..................................... .....................28 FIGURE 4.17 : NARRATION TEXT POP-UP................................... .......................28 FIGURE 4.18: VIDEO PLAYER............................................................................... ..29 FIGURE 4.19: AUDIO PLAYER................................................................................. 30 FIGURE 6.20: MAP OF DUBLIN 1811................................................. .....................36 FIGURE 6.21: BOUNDED GEOGRAPHICAL ANCHOR POINT AREA..............37 FIGURE 6.22: SIDEBAR VERSION 3.0 (10TH SEPT, 2008)..................................38 FIGURE 6.23: SIDEBAR VERSION 4.0 (29TH SEPT, 2008) .................................38 FIGURE 6.24: NARRATION BUTTON PRESENT.............................................. ....39 FIGURE 6.25: AUDIO PLAYER - PLAYING VERSION 4.0 (29TH SEPT, 2008) 40 FIGURE 6.26: AUDIO PLAYER - STOPPED VERSION 4.0 (29TH SEPT, 2008) 40 FIGURE 6.27: AUDIO PLAYER VERSION 3.0 (10TH SEPT, 2008) .....................40 FIGURE 6.28: VIDEO PLAYER VERSION 2.0 (20TH AUG, 2008) ......................41 FIGURE 6.29: VIDEO PLAYER VERSION 4.0 (29TH SEPT, 2008) .....................42 FIGURE 6.30: MAIN INTERFACE VERSION (4.0 – 29TH SEPT, 2008) .............43 FIGURE 6.31: MAIN INTERFACE VERSION 3.0 (10TH SEPT, 2008) ................44 FIGURE 6.32: MAIN INTERFACE VERSION 2.0 (14TH AUG, 2008) .................45 FIGURE 6.33: MAIN INTERFACE VERSION 1.0 (6TH AUGUST, 2008) ............46

Reference Tables
TABLE 5.1: REVIEW POINTS CONSIDERED DURING SUPERVISORY PROCESS.......................................................................................... ...........................35 TABLE APPENDIX I.2: PRODUCTION SCHEDULE FOR PROJECT................57 TABLE APPENDIX II.3: LIST OF MAPS INCLUDED............................. ..............58

DIGIDUBLIN ABSTRACT BY KEITH FEIGHERY The DigiDublin application narrates the story of Dublin’s growth and development from Gaelic Dublin up to modern times using original maps and supporting digital media. DigiDublin is designed to be part of a digital media learning area within a museum or public exhibition. The application presents the expansion of Dublin from its nascent settlements of Ath Cliath and the ecclesiastic enclosure of Dubh Linn, up through Norman and Medieval times where the walled city dominated, and on through the Seventeenth century to modern day Dublin which is characterised by the development of the city eastwards beyond the Medieval city along the walled in Liffey Quays. The river Liffey and the Medieval walled city are used as the common reference points between all maps. DigiDublin uses an interactive Flash interface to control and present digitised images, illustrated maps, audio and video. The application is designed to be deployed using a Flash Player.

GLOSSARY Gaelic Dublin Viking Dublin Norman Dublin Medieval Dublin Georgian Dublin Victorian Dublin Edwardian Dublin Dubh Linn Gaelic Dublin refers to the period 450 to 900AD Viking Dublin refers to the period 917 to 1169AD Norman Dublin refers to the period of 1169 to 1300AD In the context of this work Medieval Dublin refers to the period from 1300-1600AD Georgian Dublin refers to the period 1714 to 1830 Victorian Dublin refers to the period 1830 to 1900 Edwardian Dublin refers to the period 1900 to 1915 The pool formed at the confluence of the rivers Poddle and Liffey. It was filled in the 16th century, as it was deemed to pose a threat to the security of Dublin Castle. It is located where today’s Castle Gardens are situated adjacent to the Chester Beatty Library.

i

LIST OF ACRONYMS IHTA NLI OSI OS RIA Swf MP3 DVD FLA WAV Irish Historic Towns Atlas National Library of Ireland Ordnance Survey Ireland Ordnance Survey Royal Irish Academy Shockwave Format Motion Picture 3 Format Digital Versatile Disc Flash File Format Waveform Audio Format (Microsoft Audio File Standard)

ii

1

INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview

This application narrates the history of Dublin’s growth from the site of Gaelic and Viking Dublin up to modern times. It shows how the city developed into the Medieval walled city which dominated Dublin for over 450 years and finally, how the city moved in an eastwards direction up past O’Connell Bridge and beyond in the 18th century. It was decided to use the course of the Liffey as the main lens to tell Dublin’s story. In effect, the Liffey channel dictated how and where Dublin developed. In Gaelic times the site of the Ath Cliath river-crossing, determined the location of Dublin’s original settlement overlooking the ford which is just below the current site of Christ Church Cathedral. In Norman and Medieval times, the BlackPool or Dubh Linn, which was the large pool area located at the confluence of the rivers Poddle and Liffey, acted as a natural barrier for the eastern end of the town, at the point where Dublin Castle is today. In Viking times, the pool also provided shelter from the vagaries of the Irish Sea. No other natural physical feature has dictated the shape of Dublin as the Liffey has. Figure 1.1 shows the two original settlements from where current day Dublin originated. Ath Cliath is located at the river crossing and the Dubh Linn ecclesiastical settlement is located behind the Blackpool (Linn Dubh on the map).

Figure 1.1 : Original Ath Cliath and Dubh Linn Settlements

In order for Dublin to grow and develop, the Liffey channel had to be restricted so

1

that flooding could be controlled and the quays built up to facilitate trade. Since Viking and Norman times the Liffey had been reclaimed in order to provide more land for Dublin to develop. This reclamation accelerated in the Seventeenth century eastwards and as a result the city moved beyond its Norman and Medieval confines to develop further along the Liffey channel towards the sea.

1.2

Background

The concept for the project came about during a visit to the National Library where a review of old Dublin maps was being undertaken. In this review, the John Speed Map of 1610 was present. In Speed’s map viewers can clearly see how wide the Liffey was in comparison to today’s river. All the area at Temple Bar is underwater and Dublin Bay comes right up to the point of where Capel St Bridge is today. Apart from the river Liffey, the most dominant feature of Speed’s Medieval Dublin is the presence of the city wall. The wall and the town contained within it dominated the landscape of Dublin for over four hundred years. Today there is virtually no trace of the wall left in the city apart from a section below St Audeon’s Church at Cook Street, which is behind Merchants Quay. As a result of its absence, if individuals have not studied or read about Medieval Dublin they are unlikely to know and recognise the form of Dublin in or before the sixteenth century. The Speed map gave rise to a number of other questions, such as: how wide was the Liffey back in Medieval Dublin; how much of today’s Dublin has been reclaimed from the sea and river; and when were the quays built and how far exactly did the sea reach in times past? All of these questions formed a nucleus of enquiry to research and acted as the genesis of this project.

2

Figure 1.2 shows the John Speed Map of 1610. It is evident from the map, that the course of the Liffey at this time was much wider and more erratic than it is today.

Figure 1.2 : John Speed Map 1610

1.3

Context

Dublin’s history is often narrated in a context that is bound up in broader themes and events such as the Cromwellian Wars, Protestant Ascendancy, Penal Laws, Catholic Emancipation, Land Reform, Famine or Home Rule for example. These are overarching political and economic themes that transcend the physical development of any one city or place. However, another angle from which to view the history of a city is to analyse its physical characteristics and conflate these with a more general historical narrative. Analysing Dublin in this context, we can examine its changing geographical landscape as well as its urban and architectural landscapes and relate these changes to the contemporaneous historical events of specific times. History is not meant to be a purely abstract study; the more people can relate to it, the more relevant it becomes. Using a landscape that is familiar to people, such as a city space, and relating that back to historical events enables people to view the city in a more informed and enlightened sense.

3

1.4

Project Aim

The aim of the project is to build an application to be deployed as an installation in a museum environment, in a separate digital media learning area, where users interact and learn about the evolution and development of Dublin city. The application uses digitised artefacts such as maps, video, audio and drawings to provide an overarching narrative on the different eras and phases of growth of Dublin.

1.5

Scope of Project

There were a number of scope factors to be resolved from the outset. Firstly, there was the issue of where to focus time and resources in the project. The focus of the project was split into three areas: accurately research the content to include in the application; focus on creating the functionality to display and control all the artefacts in an intuitive and educative form; and lastly, to concentrate on the design of the look and feel of the application. This three-tiered approach ensured that the content was authentic and academically validated, the application functioned cohesively and in an intuitive way for users, and finally that the application design was functional. Greater resources were used to ensure high quality content and functionality rather than high-end design as it was felt the former was of a higher priority. If, in the future, the project is to be commercialised it is likely that the graphic design of the front-end interface be re-visited. The scope of content for inclusion in the application changed from the proposal stage where it was envisaged focusing on the period 1600 to 1850 and taking landmark buildings such as Essex Bridge, The Old Custom House and the New Custom House to show how Dublin’s centre moved eastwards as the Liffey continued to be walled in with quays. However, as the project progressed it became apparent that it was necessary to go back further in time and show how Dublin had evolved from Gaelic and Viking times up through the Medieval era and into the 1800s to give users a broader understanding of the change. Within this broader narrative a decision was made to anchor the change in Dublin’s development to the Liffey and the Medieval walled city in order to show how, as Dublin grew the Liffey contracted. Using this method, the walled city provides a link back to Viking and Norman times as well as

4

providing a reference point to present day Dublin.

5

2

RESEARCH

The following research was carried out: at the conception phase a questionnaire was distributed to a group of individuals to establish general awareness of early Dublin geography and history which would help validate content for inclusion in the application; interviews were held with academics and those working in this area; field trips were made to museums and exhibitions in Ireland and the UK to review what types of digital media presentations were being used; academic research was carried out in both archives and libraries in Dublin, analysing existing maps, prints and drawings as well as researching historical texts; and finally an analysis was made of existing accessible websites that cover city histories to see the level of detail and content provided.

2.1

Questionnaires

During the conception stage of the project, in March 2008, a questionnaire was drawn up to seek the level of knowledge and general awareness of the history of Dublin among a small sample base of twenty (a sample of questionnaires are referenced in Appendix III). Questions were asked about Medieval Dublin and the walled city, the levels of reclamation undertaken in Dublin, the changing course of the Liffey over Gaelic times to the present and the stages of development of Georgian Dublin. What was striking about the responses garnered was the lack of knowledge of Medieval Dublin and the walled city and the absence of awareness of how much of today’s Dublin has been reclaimed from the sea and river. Few of the subjects questioned knew anything of the famous BlackPool, its significance nor of how far the Irish Sea encroached on Dublin in Medieval times. Having established an information and awareness deficit regarding the development of Dublin, it was apparent that an application that presented the story of Dublin using both maps and contextual information would have a real interest for those looking to source information on Dublin.

6

2.2

Interviews

In order to validate the project idea, feedback was sought from a number of academics. Interviews were held with Maurice Craig, authour of numerous books on the history of Dublin, Edward McParland, Head of the School of Art History in Trinity College Dublin, John Montague, School of Art History, Trinity College Dublin, Sarah Gearty, cartographer with the Royal Irish Academy and Pat Liddy, local Dublin Historian. Email correspondence was also made with Jacinta Prunty, lecturer in urban geography in NUI Maynooth and Christine Casey lecturer in Art History in UCD. All those interviewed confirmed that the concept of using the Liffey as the main axis to show how Dublin developed in an easterly direction was valid and correct. Edward McParland related that he believed that Capel St Bridge was a key point in the city to reveal how Dublin would have looked back in pre-Medieval times with the Irish Sea reaching to where the bridge is today, with the channel narrowing beyond at Wood and Merchants Quays. John Montague, who is an expert on the John Rocque Map of 1756, likewise agreed that the area around Capel St was key in narrating the history of the city and also pointed out that the river Poddle can still be seen flowing into the Liffey just east of where the Clarence Hotel is.

2.3 2.3.1

Museums and Exhibitions

Dublin Thousand Years Experience – City Hall Dublin

This exhibition looks at the development of Dublin since Viking times from the perspective of Dublin Corporation which was set up in the 1200s. The exhibition is a mix of physical and multi-media displays. The multi-media element of the exhibition is passive. There is no interaction required from the user. There are obvious advantages for this in terms of managing floor traffic, but the experience is a less interesting one for the users. The most important point garnered from this trip was to ensure that the application was participative rather than a one-way information flow.

7

2.3.2

William Butler Yeats Exhibition, National Library

The William Butler Yeats exhibition is a floor exhibition with multi-media elements included. The multi-media artefacts are essentially scanned copies of notebooks that Yeats kept with some interpretative notes included. There is no participation required from the user, and again it is a passive experience. The lighting in the room is dark and it is difficult to read the handwritten scanned text. In addition, the user is always standing up viewing this material, which makes it less likely for users to spend time reading, as it is not a comfortable viewing environment. The main outcome of this trip was the realisation that to include mutli-media installations they need to be short vignette pieces, immediately engaging, with a maximum throughput time of 50-60 seconds for each screen. On the other hand, more content may be included if the user is seated and can click-play with interactive screen elements.

2.3.3

Museum of London

The Museum of London looks at the development of the capital city from Roman times to the present. The emphasis of the exhibition is on physical displays rather than on digital media content. The floor content is very impressive but could be further augmented by appropriate digital media.

2.3.4

London Docklands Museum

This exhibition focused on the development of London Docklands and its relationship with slavery and trade. There were imaginative multi-media displays provided for on the floor. Each display required user participation, the control on each screen was obvious and clearly marked, and the navigation path was well defined. Each screen display was approximately 60 seconds long. This exhibition clearly demonstrated how digital media displays could enhance the experience of users in an exhibition type environment. The interfaces were clear, uncluttered, using neutral colours, well distributed content without confusion, and with a clear path for the user to follow.

8

2.3.5

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum provided a digital media area that had dedicated computers with multi-media content available through a dedicated browser application. The users could sit in a comfortable environment and browse relevant content which was in the form of photographs and prints and watch and listen to video and audio content. The digital media area was a good idea and provided a space where users could sit and interact. The content however, was varied and nonsegmented, which would have benefited from categorisation that would have provided guidance for users.

2.3.6

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

Similar to the London Transport Museum, the V&A had a large area dedicated to browse digital media content. The content was varied with photographs, video and audio as well as bespoke flash elements that covered areas related to the content of the museum.

2.4

Libraries and Archive Research

Research was undertaken in libraries and archives in Dublin that hold content relevant to this project.

2.4.1

National Library of Ireland (NLI)

The National Library of Ireland has a large body of maps, images, prints and books that are pertinent to this project. During visits to the NLI, artefacts such as the prints of Dublin from James Malton, SF Brocas, Francis Wheatley and John Tudor were analysed, along with old maps of Dublin dating back from Speed in 1610, Brooking in 1728, DeGomme in 1673, Harvey in 1820, and OS maps from 1830s onwards, as well as relevant historical reference books. The visits to the library were key in helping frame how to present the content of the project.

9

2.4.2

National Photographic Archive

The National Photographic Archive provides a large source of photographic material dating back to the mid-Nineteenth century. The Lawrence and Clonbrook collections contain many images of Dublin from the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century. These images helped form a mental picture of Dublin for this period and helped focus the project by re-creating spaces that have long since vanished in Dublin.

2.4.3

Office of Public Works (OPW) Archive, St Stephen’s Green.

The OPW archive holds information on public buildings in Ireland. The initial idea for the project was to focus on large-scale public buildings along the Liffey Quays of Dublin. Information was collected in the archive on the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, The Four Courts, Collins Barracks and The Customs House. As the scope of the project changed from building history to the physical, geographical and urban history the details of these buildings was not required but was informative in providing a context.

2.4.4

The Royal Irish Academy

The Royal Irish Academy has produced a series of maps as part of its Historic Towns Atlas series detailing the development of Dublin from Viking times to the 16th Century. These have formed an invaluable element of this project. If the project is to be developed and commercialised, licensing agreements would need to be sought in order to publish.

2.4.5

Irish Institute of Architecture (IIA)

The IIA library and photographic archive offers the public an original source of photographs of Dublin architecture as well as related reference books. During the research undertaken here, a focus was placed on the quays area on both the north and south side of the river. This research was very useful for framing the scope of content

10

to include in the application. 2.4.6 Richview Architecture Library, UCD

The Richview library provides access to all the main historical maps of Dublin to readers. They also permit scanning, photographing and colour photocopying of all maps. This was an invaluable source of content for this project.

2.4.7

Trinity College Map Library

The Glucksman map library in Trinity College has the largest collection of maps in Ireland. All maps and prints published in Ireland can be found in this collection. If this project is further developed on a commercial basis there is a large corpus of material that could be used. As an exercise in study and information, it helped form the structure of this application.

2.5

Websites

An analysis was made of existing websites that cover city histories. The content and level of detail on these websites was examined in order to gain an understanding of best practise in digitally narrating urban histories. Useful websites were as follows: London Docklands Museum available at http://www.museumindocklands.org.uk/English Museum of London available at http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/English Natural History Museum Website available at http://www.nhm.ac.uk National Library of Ireland available at http://www.nli.ie National Museum of Ireland available at http://www.museum.ie National Science Museum available at http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk The American Museum of Natural History available at http://www.amnh.org The American National Building Museum available at http://www.nbm.org The Lower East Side Tenement Museum available at http://www.tenement.org The National Air and Space Museum available at http://www.nasm.si.edu

11

The United States Holocaust Museum available at http://www.ushmm.org Victoria and Albert Museum available at http://www.vam.ac.uk

2.6

Research Conclusion

The field trips to the museums and exhibitions helped clarify what types of multimedia installations work in public exhibitions, and re-enforced the idea that different environments suit different digital media presentations. If for example, one is looking to present a long interactive application, then it is best to have it in a separate area with seating, off the main floor, to enable users to sit down and take their time navigating through it. These trips also helped confirm the initial premise that there was a lack of digital media content available on Dublin’s history in the city’s civic buildings. The fact that Dublin has yet to get a dedicated museum also re-enforced the need and requirement to provide some accessible media to both visitors and natives of Dublin who are interested in its history. The interviews carried out with Maurice Craig, Edward McParland, Pat Liddy and John Montague were key to substantiating that the project had a firm basis and that this type of application was currently lacking but much needed in both an academic and museum environment. It was clear from the field trips that an installation on a museum floor, which typically have fast throughput times, would not be appropriate for this project. This application would require a more interactive experience with users spending a minimum of 8-10 minutes working through the information. It was during the visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum and London Transport Museum, that the idea emerged to locate the application in a multi-media area where users could sit and interact with the application without feeling under pressure from other visitors and with proper equipment such as headphones to listen to audio and video content.

12

3

CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT

In devising how the application should navigate and work, it was necessary to develop a conceptual framework to resolve any functional and usability issues and to ensure that the application had a consistency for users. The main areas which required conceptual development were the following: how best to display the maps to users and what standards to use; how to display auxiliary information without creating screen clutter; and how to achieve consistency within maps and controls so that application flow is always apparent to users. 3.1 Visual Axes

One of the key concepts of the application is the notion of a Timeline that has both an X-axis and a Z-axis. The X-axis, which is represented by the main timeline enables the user to move along a temporal line viewing related maps, whilst the Zaxis allows the user to drill into the screen to compare a map for a particular time with that of a previous or future map and thus allowing them to see how the map has changed from a particular reference point. Figure 3.3 gives an example of the main X-axis, with timeline included.

Figure 3.3 : Main Timeline Interface

13

Figure 3.4 shows the Z-axis where the user can use a dissolve feature to see how the current map being viewed compares to a reference map of either Medieval Dublin or a modern day map of Dublin.

Figure 3.4 : Implementation of Z-axis

3.2

Anchor Points

As a result of using different maps drawn up by different cartographers over the centuries, it was critical to anchor the maps to certain geographical reference points so as not to confuse users who are not familiar with Dublin or who may not recognise key landmarks. By anchoring the maps around certain geographical points, the maps maintain a consistency as users move along the slider timeline bar. All the maps have been scaled and anchored to key points that define the Medieval walled city and the Liffey channel. This is important to understand when viewing the application as the main timeline maps, are set up to morph backwards and forwards to reference maps that use these anchor points. The main anchor points are the Medieval wall itself, the old bridge at today’s Church St, and the channel of the river

14

Liffey. Taking these as the defining map anchors, users can then visually get a sense of how Dublin grew and developed over different maps on a broad timeline. In Figure 3.5, we can see the 900AD map is synchronised along anchor points with the BlackPool and the Ath Cliath Ford as well as the physical site of the Medieval city. Without having these anchor points, the maps would not be as cohesive for users to analyse.

Figure 3.5 : Demonstration of anchor points

3.3

Application Lens

In developing this project one of the main concepts was to agree on a specific lens to view the changing evolution of Dublin. A decision, early on, was made to use the Liffey as the main medium to represent the development of the city. There were other options which could have been taken, for example, the project could have looked at the development of major infrastructural projects such as Roads, Canals and/or Railway lines. Alternatively, it could have represented the development

15

through the lens of major property speculators of the times, such as the likes of Lords Pembroke, Molesworth, Dawson, or Aungier; or possibly through the lens of ecclesiastical settlements and buildings. Such options would have all been valid ways of tracking the development of Dublin, but this project explicitly uses the Liffey to convey and contextualise the change in Dublin’s urban history. Figure 3.6 shows how wide the Liffey channel was in Viking Dublin compared to today’s channel. Over the next five centuries, the shape of the city and the river change radically.

Figure 3.6: Liffey at the time of Viking Dublin

16

Figure 3.7, the Brooking map of 1728, shows how narrow the channel of the Liffey is compared to the Viking map. It is evident too, that Dublin has grown beyond the confines of the Medieval city at this stage. The BlackPool has been in-filled and the various river tributaries that flowed into the Liffey have been culverted. A large amount of reclamation has also occurred particularly along the quays and Temple Bar area.

Figure 3.7 : Course of the Liffey in Brooking’s 1728 Map

The Liffey then acts as both the lens to view the urban change and it forms the main horizontal axis of the application. As the user moves spatially and temporally along the timeline, the changes in the city are relative to the river Liffey.

17

3.4

Maps

The entire project is based on the concept of using maps to capture the changing face of Dublin and digitally compiling the change in such a way that it is meaningful and cogent to viewers who have a disparate knowledge of Dublin. There are a number of other ways one could have represented this changing urban landscape, possibly through images, prints and drawings but these are limited to subjective impressions that may not be accurate, plus there are gaps in the available archive material. Using maps is a more accurate form of representing change. Without the maps, it would be very difficult to convey the morphing of the city. One could resort to words, graphs, tables and sketches but the impact would not be as forceful. The selection of maps was key to the success of the projects. One of the issues with using original maps is that they are typically large documents that do not fit neatly into standard texts nor are they viewed easily through digital means due to physical size. A significant challenge for the project was to replicate the physical sensation of looking at large maps on a small screen. Using the slider concept in conjunction with the Z-axis helped emulate the physical experience of comparing more than one map at a time. Details of the maps themselves is provided in the next section “Application Design”, in sub-section 4.2.2.

18

3.5

Sidebar

The concept of including the sidebar pane, which houses additional information, helps add a further layer of richness to the application. In the current application, it is used for adding contextual Irish and World information for each of the maps which helps provide the users with a broader context for the map. It also houses the click through image for the “Full Map Image”, and finally it holds the section where users can click through to see Additional Maps & Drawings. The detailed specification of the sidebar functionality is dealt with in the next section, “Application design”, in sub- section 4.2.3.

19

4

APPLICATION DESIGN

The implementation of the conceptual framework involved designing and developing the interface and digital containers that display and control the various forms of media used in the application. The following section gives an overview of the application and discusses each of the components and features that make up the system. 4.1 Use Case Overview

The design of the application focuses on making the application as intuitive as possible for first time users. The user firstly needs to understand that the timeline slider is the main interaction point. Within each map sequence the user can listen to supporting audio, compare the timeline map with future and previous maps, annotate the current map with key landmarks, watch supporting video, view the full map image, and finally view other supporting maps and drawings for each period. There is a reasonable level of complexity that requires the user to familiarise himself with the concepts of the application. It is envisaged that a supporting video help guide would accompany the application in a future version. User feedback also indicated that a supporting physical booklet would be useful, for users to refer to extra historical information, and additional maps, drawings, sketches or prints. 4.2 Application Overview

The application is broken down into the following sections: 4.2.1 Timeline slider 4.2.2 Timeline maps 4.2.3 Sidebar 4.2.4 Reference maps 4.2.5 Annotated Maps 4.2.6 Audio Text 4.2.7 Video 4.2.8 Audio

20

• 4.2.1 Timeline Slider

The initial point of contact with the application is when the user interacts with the timeline slider. As the user slides (or clicks) along the main timeline the associated audio plays for each map. Each narrated audio piece places the map historically and discusses physical developments as well as covering historical events that are pertinent to the time the map covers. Figure 4.8 shows the timeline slider used to navigate through the application.

Figure 4.8 : Timeline Interface

21

4.2.2

Timeline Maps

The maps contained within the timeline are the centrepiece of the application. All content within the application is linked to these. The user examines the maps along with the accompanying audio, video, and additional maps and drawings to build up their understanding of the changes Dublin underwent during each period covered. Figure 4.9, shows a map of the physical site of Medieval Dublin is shown, highlights the current course of the Liffey as well as landmarks in today’s city.

Figure 4.9 : NLI Medieval Topographical Map

The map in Figure 4.10, shows Dublin in around 1500. We note that the Liffey is significantly wider beyond the area of Capel St bridge

22

Figure 4.10 : National Library of Ireland, Map of Medieval Dublin

Figure 4.11 shows a map of Dublin in 1673 by the cartographer Bernard De Gomme. In it we note that the Liffey has been walled in to the east of the old confines of the Medieval walled city.

Figure 4.11 : Bernard De Gomme, 1673 Map

4.2.3

Sidebar

The sidebar is a key part of the application infrastructure as it allows the storage of extra information to help users interpret the maps on the timeline. The sidebar holds

23

full map images, audio, additional maps and drawings and contextual Irish and world facts. Figure 4.13 shows an image of the left-hand sidebar of the application. The image in the “Full Map Image” is clickable and changes opacity when rolled over. The “Related Irish & World Facts” area is a button, and the “Additional Maps & Drawings” image is also clickable. The Audio player can be clicked on and off as required.

Figure 4.12 : Sidebar – Related Irish & World Facts Collapsed

24

Figure 4.13 contains an image of the left had sidebar with the “Related Irish & World Facts” area expanded. In this section we can see the contextual Irish and world facts displayed. By clicking on the button again, the contents collapse back.

Figure 4.13 : Sidebar – Related Irish & World Facts Expanded

25

In Figure 4.14 we see one of the images displayed when the user clicks on the “Additional Maps & Drawings” Image. It is a useful feature that allows inclusion of extra maps that did not sit as well in the main timeline.

Figure 4.14 : Additional Maps and Drawings

4.2.4

Reference Maps

Within each map, the user can compare the current map to either a modern map of Dublin or a map from 1500 with the Medieval walled city. As mentioned earlier, the walled city has been taken as one of the main anchor points of the application. When viewing the reference maps the user can use the opacity slider which allows them to dissolve the map and see how it relates to the timeline map.

26

Figure 4.15 shows the physical site of Medieval Dublin overlaid with a modern map of Dublin. In the top of the screen, the user can use the dissolve slider to control the opacity value of the reference map.

Figure 4.15 : Use of Reference Maps

4.2.5

Annotated Maps

In addition, within each map, on the top menu there is an annotate button which is clickable on and off, allowing the user to see an annotated version of the current map. This is helpful as it highlights key landmarks that may not be obvious to those who are not familiar with Dublin or anyone looking for context sensitive information.

27

Figure 4.16 shows an annotated version of the Medieval map of Dublin from 1500 with landmarks highlighted on it.

Figure 4.16 : Annotated Map Screen

4.2.6

Audio Text

The Audio Text function allows users to view a text version of the audio transcript. Figure 4.17 shows the text box available when users click on the Text Version button. This button brings them into a text-based transcript of the audio track.

Figure 4.17 : Narration Text Pop-up

28

4.2.7

Video

Video footage was captured from experts in the field of Dublin’s history in order to provide a richer context for users when viewing the maps. The participants of the video interviews are Eddie McParland, Head of School, Trinity Art History Dept and Pat Liddy who is a local Dublin Historian. They cover general topics of Dublin’s evolution and development Figure 4.18, shows the video player, which is invoked by the video button on the top tool providing a video narrative on the time period of the map.

Figure 4.18: Video Player

4.2.8

Audio

Each map is accompanied by an audio narrative that provides the user with an interpretation of the map and the contextual history that is relevant to the time period. It is a useful feature as users who have no context of Irish history will not be able to appreciate the nuances of each individual map without some historical background. Figure 4.6 shows the audio player located in the sidebar of the application which provides a historical narrative to users when viewing each map.

29

Figure 4.19: Audio Player

30

5

PRODUCTION

The following section details the production process for DigiDublin. An overview is given of the architecture of the application, the process used throughout the production phase, and the technical considerations and decisions made in developing the artefact. 5.1 Flash Architecture

The application is developed using Flash CS3 and ActionScript 2.0. The application’s kernel is a slider movieclip that controls which frame is displayed depending on the location of the x co-ordinate on the slider handle. Initially, it was thought that the project be developed in a hybrid of HTM, CSS and Flash and work was carried out developing a prototype for this proposed architecture. However, based on supervisor feedback, the HTML interface was deemed to be inappropriate and did not augment the user’s experience. As a result of this review, it was decided to go with a flash interface that focused on delivering a rich user experience and intuitive interactivity. The application is designed to allow for easy maintenance and extension. To this end, all video and audio is maintained in a structure outside of the .fla file itself. This keeps the size of the .swf file down and allows for the updating of media content without having to change the .fla file internally. If content of an existing artefact requires updating, an administrator is able to overwrite the previous version by dragging and dropping in a directory structure. In addition, the video player, audio player, Irish & World Fact viewer and Large Image Viewer are all developed as modular components that can be invoked and controlled by global variables. Again, this makes maintenance and extension of the application easier as developers are dealing with plug and play components rather than hardcoded functionality. 5.2 Production of Digital Artefacts

The following section gives technical details to the how the various form of digital media used in the application were captured and edited.

31

5.2.1

Audio

The Audio was captured using a Marantz solid-state recorder at 48 KHz in WAV format. This was then converted to mp3 format as Flash plays mp3 rather than WAV. The audio was then edited using Audacity. The reason the Marantz sound recorder was used was due to the drawn out nature of capturing the voice-over. Each narration was scripted and then captured. This was a lengthy process which took time and precision. An appreciation was gained for the onerous task of capturing voiceovers. Initially an attempt was made to capture the audio in a stand-alone recording booth provided for in the Digital Media Centre in DIT Aungier St. The recording used a Sennheiser Microphone connected to a ProTools MBox at 192KHz. However, the physical environment was not suitable due to the number of re-captures required to ensure a quality voice over.

5.2.2

Video

All video was captured using a Panasonic VX100 camera onto a mini-DV tape. The aspect ratio used was anamorphic 16:9. The sound was captured using a Sennheiser Rifle Microphone. The footage was then logged and captured from the tape format using a capture deck. The footage was then edited using Final Cut Pro. Once edited each sequence was then exported as a .mov file. In order to get the video to play using Flash, the .mov file was then converted to an .flv file using the Flash encoder application. Once encoded as an .flv file the video could then be played natively by the Flash application. The video was encoded using the On2 VP6 codec. The advantages of using .flv files is that file size is exponentially smaller than the .mov file as well as being able to leverage the Flash suite of video functions. All video footage is stored externally from the .fla file and is played using the netstream functionality. This allows improved maintenance of the application where video can be updated without need to update the .fla file.

32

5.2.3

Screen Resolution

The application is designed to be viewed on at least a 17-inch monitor at an 1152 * 768 pixel screen resolution. The need to have the application designed for a high resolution comes from the requirement of ensuring viewers can clearly view the maps and discern the information contained within the maps. During the course of the project experimentation was carried out using lower resolutions and viewing image sizes at lower dimensions such as 400*280 but these were not sufficient for an informative viewing experience. To provide a meaningful and professional application, it is critical that the maps are viewed in as large a resolution as possible.

5.2.4

Digital Images

All images used have either been scanned in at a 300 dpi colour specification or photographed. All the map images are either 800 * 600 pixels for the standard timeline maps and 1152 * 786 pixels for the large screen maps.

5.3

Production Process

The development of this application has been an iterative process where research of functional and technical areas has fed back into the development cycle to try and continually improve the quality of the application. In addition, feedback was sought and given from the project supervisor who played a key role in advising direction of the application. Throughout the development process, various iterations of the application were demonstrated to users who fed back impressions and issues that they encountered whilst using the application. This feedback loop was critical to the progress of the project and helped refine functionality, scope, focus and design of the project. 5.3.1 Continual Assessment process

The following is a list of areas concentrated upon during iterative review sessions with the project supervisor:

33

No. Areas of Focus 1 Application flow – is it logical and clear to the user at all times where in the application flow the user is, and what decision paths are available to them to chose? 2 Consistency of the maps– is it clear what each map is showing and does it enhance the user’s experience?

Benefits Ensured that the application is intuitive to users. This was achieved by reviewing the application numerous times (weekly for the last 4 weeks of the project), incorporating incremental changes each time. Helped validate that each of the maps displayed was relevant and the information contained within the map was unique and was not duplicated from another map. Key question that was always asked was: “does this map tell the user something new”. Validated the ergonomics of the application and ensured there were no unexpected outcomes from screen interactions and that there were no misleading elements on screen. Refined the placement and design of the control features within the application, which improved usability for users. Aided the refinement of the overall consistency of the application, which in turn augmented the user experience. Resulted in a context related section containing historical facts that provided an extra informative layer of historical insight for the user. Helped reduce production of artefacts that were secondary to the core application.

3

Look and feel of application – is the design of the application in keeping with the tone and purpose of the application? Is there any obvious impediments and poor design that hamper the flow of the application? Usability – how intuitive and informative are the controls on the application? Can they be improved and how could this be achieved? Are the fonts, sizes and colours in keeping with the content and tone of the overall application? Is it possible to augment the user experience by including rich information that would enhance and add to the context of each map?

4

5

6

7

How to focus and concentrate the effort and resources of the project in producing the correct and most

34

8

relevant content. The production of all artefacts with adequate time to review and re-work them.

Ensured the early commencement of key outputs. Rather than focusing too much time on granular design concerns it encouraged focusing getting the structure and flow of the application defined, designed and developed before moving onto secondary features. Helped refine the overall quality of the application through constantly exploring ways of improving usability and look and feel issues, as well as finding bugs to resolve. This helped provide a critical look at the process when producing the report rather than re-stating the steps taken during the project, with a particular emphasis on what worked and what could be improved upon.

9

Ensure emphasis was placed on user testing and evaluation of outputs at all stages

10

Focus on analysis of process and output when writing up the report.

Table 5.1: Review points considered during supervisory process

35

6

EVALUATION AND TESTING

During the evaluation and testing phase of the project functionality issues, usability problems and bugs in the application were raised and resolved. The next section covers the key issues and resolutions that were encountered. Anchor Point Issues One of the results of having to display the maps on the timeline within an anchored set of points, was that as the city of Dublin grew in the 18th century, the maps obviously grew too. However, due to the need to constrain the map size within a geographical area, it was difficult to present the level of change that Dublin had actually undergone as the city grew beyond the geographical area bound by the anchor points. In order to show the full extent of growth in the city, a workaround was agreed upon to include the larger map in the sidebar navigation where the user could then click and see the overall level of change. Figure 6.20 demonstrates the problem of constraining maps within a geographical area. This is the map of Dublin in 1811, but it is not possible to synchronise this with Medieval Dublin, as there is a much larger area in focus.

Figure 6.20: Map of Dublin 1811

36

Figure 6.21 shows the actual geographical area (from the map above) which is bound by the
anchor points.

Figure 6.21: Bounded geographical anchor point area

Audio changes required All audio was recorded assuming that the full details of each map were visible for the user to see. However, as a result of anchoring each map to a set geographical area, the maps from the 18th century and later were truncated which resulted in some of the audio talking points being outside of the bound geographical area. As a result of this, the audio had to be re-recorded to focus the narrative on visible landmarks in the map.

Sidebar re-design As a result of tester feedback on the sidebar, changes were required to give it a more integrated feeling with the main application. It was felt that it was disconnected from the timeline and therefore users were not entirely sure of its purpose or whether it was related to the map that they were currently viewing or to something else. The re-

37

design aims to bring the sidebar into the same functional space as the timeline thus removing any ambiguity. Figure 6.22 shows how an earlier sidebar version 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008) looks. In user testing it was reported that this version of the sidebar was detached from the main area.

Figure 6.22: Sidebar Version 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008)

Figure 6.23 shows the sidebar from the current Version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008)

Figure 6.23: Sidebar Version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008)

38

Audio Player User feedback suggested the original design of the player was too clunky and took up too much screen space. In addition, the initial design of the player allowed users to close the player down and remove it from the screen. It was felt that it was not entirely clear why a user should be allowed to close the player down and remove it rather than just temporarily stop it, and also that it was not clear exactly how to make it re-appear once removed from the screen. Another point made was that the narration button, which was originally up on the main bar across the top of the screen, was not necessary and that the placement of the player beside it, likewise was aesthetically unpleasing. The second and third iterations of the player addressed the size problem by making it much smaller with no controls as it was felt they were not required i.e. no pause, fast forward or fast rewind buttons. It also placed the player in the lower left hand corner of the application and the narration button was removed from the top bar. Feedback for the final version has been positive and the ambiguity and size issues have been dealt with. In Figure 6.24 we can see the narration button on the top toolbar area above the map. This was deemed unnecessary during the evaluation phase.

Figure 6.24: Narration button present

39

Figure 6.25 shows the current version of the Audio player. If the user rolls over the blue area, which is a button it changes to a “Stop Audio” option.

Figure 6.25: Audio Player - Playing Version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008)

Figure 6.26 shows how the audio player collapses when the user clicks the Stop Audio option on the button.

Figure 6.26: Audio Player - Stopped Version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008)

Figure 6.27 shows version 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008) of the Audio player with all the controls included.

Figure 6.27: Audio Player Version 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008)

Video Player & Placement The initial idea was to have the video connected to landmarks within each map. However, it was suggested that as the video content would have been replicated within multiple maps, it made more practical sense to place the video option on the top tool bar and only have relevant and specific video content for each map thus avoiding duplication and repetition. This avoided users clicking on content that they had already viewed in different maps. Ideally, more video footage would have been captured covering specific landmarks and over longer periods of time, which would

40

have enabled the inclusion of multiple video segments over more than one map. Also, further editing of the video would have enhanced the overall quality. Figure 6.28 demonstrates video player version 2.0 (20th Aug, 2008). It was deemed to be too stark and not in keeping with the colour palette of the application.

Figure 6.28: Video Player Version 2.0 (20th Aug, 2008)

41

Figure 6.29 shows the current version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008) of the video player which is more in keeping with the general palette of colours used in the application. In addition, the control area has been reduced in size as requested in user testing.

Figure 6.29: Video Player Version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008)

Possible improvements to the video player include adding a timeline bar to allow users to see the duration of the video. The sound on the video footage was in places poor due to shooting outside. Better microphones would have reduced the background noise. It may have been better to have shot the interview in a quieter environment and then take cut aways in the areas discussed. However, the interviewees felt that by being down at the location it would help stimulate their thought process and add authenticity to the exercise.

Interface Design Over the course of user testing, the interface underwent a significant transformation. The figures below chart the development of the interface over the period of user feedback. The four main screen areas on the interface are the slider, the sidebar, the main map section and the top tool bar. The colour palette evolved over the project with the help of user feedback. Initially, the palette was quite stark with black lines and hard green fonts that lacked warmth.

42

As the project moved forward, more colours that were present in the maps were reflected in the interface. The soft green blue of the map that indicated the river was gradually brought into the Logo and Slider area. For the sidebars, a blue gradation palette was introduced which added more consistency and warmth to the application. The following images trace the evolution of the interface. Figure 6.30 shows Main Interface version 4.0 (29th Sept, 2008. The colour palette uses colours that are found in the map areas such as green and light blues. The overall feel of the interface is meant to be inviting to users and non-abrasive.

Figure 6.30: Main Interface Version (4.0 – 29th Sept, 2008)

43

Figure 6.31 shows Main Interface 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008). The slider area in this version was deemed to be too harsh and the slider handle was judged to be too small. The sidebar was not fully utilised and has an overly square look about it. In addition, the green colour clashes with the green in the map area.

Figure 6.31: Main Interface Version 3.0 (10th Sept, 2008)

44

Figure 6.32 shows Main Interface version 2.0 (14th Aug, 2008) where it is evident the side bar had not been developed and was acting as placeholder for a text based version of the audio narrative. This was removed from the sidebar and a separate function was created to display the text version of the audio. In addition, the slider timeline component is undifferentiated in terms of the different maps available to users to view.

Figure 6.32: Main Interface Version 2.0 (14th Aug, 2008)

45

Figure 6.33 Main Interface version 1.0 (6th Aug, 2008) is one of the earliest versions of the interface. At this stage most of the effort had been put into defining the overall functionality rather than design. The maps, at this stage were heavily annotated in very bold terms. User feedback suggested that it was too loud and that the annotation needed to be toned down or possibly removed to a separate function. In addition, the buttons, which were meant only as placeholders were not appropriate for this application.

Figure 6.33: Main Interface Version 1.0 (6th August, 2008)

. Opacity slider and reference map usability During the testing phase it was suggested that the opacity slider, which was on the right-hand side of the screen, should be moved to where the user invoked it alongside the reference map buttons. This, it was felt, would keep the user concentrated on the area of interest i.e. the map, rather than having to move the mouse across to the right, thus taking one’s eye off the map, and having to play with the slider. In the final version it has been moved beside the two reference buttons on the top toolbar. It was suggested to change the functionality of how to invoke and close the reference

46

maps to a toggle on and off button. This, it was felt, would save the user having to move his mouse across the screen to click the close button on the map thus causing the user to move his concentration away from the area of focus. This feature has been implemented in the final version.

6.1

Testing & Evaluation Conclusion

Throughout the development of the application, input was sought from user testers on an ongoing basis, not just at the end of the development phase. The issues raised during the testing of the application and the resolution of these, helped create a robust application. The section below highlights some of the lessons learnt during the evaluation phase. One of the key lessons learnt was the need to get users involved early in the project to help with the design and usability of the application. The issue with developers dictating how the application functions is that they fail to step back from the project and analyse critically how the application functions. As a result, functions that seem obvious to developers, do not appear so to users. An example of this in the DigiDublin application was with the sidebar function. It was unclear exactly what the original design was meant to achieve to users who were not familiar with the application. Likewise with the audio player. The fact that a user could remove it from the screen, was confusing to them and they were not sure why they would do so. Also, with the dissolve slider, the original design placed the control on the other side of the screen from where the user invoked the reference map. To users unfamiliar with the application this was confusing. In general, usability and interface issues should be worked out early in the project, before getting into the development phase. Another key reason to get the users involved early in the project is to validate the overall premise of the application. One of the main considerations with the project was whether to re-draw all the maps by hand or whether to re-use existing maps. Early in the project, consultation was sought with Sarah Gearty who is a cartographer from the Royal Irish Academy. She recommended not re-drawing them due to the time it would take. As a result, the application re-uses archival maps.

47

During one of the user testing sessions, one of the users highlighted that they thought the maps were not exactly aligned between periods of time. This was a critical point, in order to show Dublin growing the maps had to be aligned accurately. As a result of this session, all maps were then re-aligned using anchor points. This resulted in a more cohesive and seamless experience for users when they moved along the timeline between different maps, and also made the impression of Dublin more realistic. Another key lesson was when shooting video interview footage it can often be better to shoot the subject in a quiet environment and then do cut aways at the required location. One of the issues for this project was that interviewees were shot on the Quays area of Dublin, which are noisy locations with traffic going by. The result is that sound in the video is of a poorer quality than is desirable. Finally, the application would have benefited from having an introduction section. This would have helped frame the purpose of the application for users. Also, a user help guide, in both a video and text based format would have been desirable. Both of these should be added to future developments.

48

7

FUTURE WORK

Completing this project to date has produced a functioning application which realises the original concept and indicates the potential functionality that could be added in future phases. As is discussed below, adding a broader range of subject matter and technical features could extend the application for commercial use. The goal for future work, is to make this application a portable framework and platform to support any city. 7.1 Scope of Project

In terms of subject matter, this current phase of the project concentrated on the area surrounding the Medieval walled city and the river Liffey up to the O’Connell Street Bridge area. A much more detailed analysis could be undertaken of the entire quays area, the Georgian Squares of Dublin, the Grafton Street/Molesworth Street area (the old lands of Tib and Tom), the Liberties area, Victorian Dublin, and a much more detailed look around the Thomas Street area and the North Inner City. The reality of it is, that there is an enormous amount of content that could eventually be added to this application. More video, audio, animations and image slideshows could be added also. Again, during the research for this project academics and architects, geographers and urban historians all showed great interest and were willing to participate in providing content. In terms of technical functionality, more zoom and pan functionality could be added to the image viewing section of maps. In the video content, cuepoints could be added to highlight areas on the maps that are being discussed in the videos. Likewise, audio interviews could incorporate cuepoint functionality. The interface of the project could be significantly enhanced with input from a graphic designer. A palette of graphically designed controls could be added to augment the look and feel.

49

7.2

Commercialisation of Project

The project has a strong commercial potential. The first step to achieving this would be to secure funding to upgrade the interface and add more depth to the application. There are various parties who may have an interest in this; Dublin City Council, National Museum of Ireland, Department of Environment, Department of Education, National Library of Ireland, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin Chamber of Commerce. It is possible that a number of these together could sponsor further development. To release the project commercially, copyright consent would need to be applied for to re-use content. Initially, consent would be required from the National Library of Ireland(NLI)and the Royal Irish Academy(RIA) for use of their maps. Access to resources from RIA and NLI, the heritage officers in Dublin City Corporation and curates and archaeologists from the National Museum would be of invaluable input to the project. Likewise, it would be beneficial to enlist the support of the likes of the Irish Architectural Association, the Knight of Glin (Desmond Fitzgerald), the OPW and the National Gallery, which has a huge collection of prints and images that could be used. A team to include a graphic designer, a flash developer and a project manager could progress the project significantly. There is a very logical split in the work, both the graphic design and flash development could be undertaken in parallel. The graphic designer could re-develop the front-end whilst the flash developer could develop modularised functionality to plug in to the application. The project manager would be responsible for pulling all the content elements together, arranging the work schedule, making sure the plan is on track, resolving all copyright issues, managing issues that arise on the project, keeping stakeholders informed of progress and requesting extra resources where required.

50

8

BIBLIOGRAPHY 8.1 Books

Brady, J. & Simms, A. eds. (2001) Dublin: through space and time (900 -1900). Dublin: Four Courts. Burke, N. (1977) Dublin’s Wood Quay. Navan: Civic Heritage Publications. Casey, C. (2005) Dublin: the city within the Grand Canals and the Circular Road with the Phoenix Park. London: Yale University Press. Clarke, H. (1986) Georgian Dublin. Dublin: Eason. Connolly, S.J., (1992) Religion, Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland 1660-1760. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Craig, M. (2006) Dublin 1660 – 1860: The Shaping of a City. Dublin: Liberties Press. De Courcy, J.W. (1996) The Liffey in Dublin. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. Gilbert, J.T. (1861) A history of the city of Dublin. Dublin: J. Duffy . Guinness, D. (1979) Georgian Dublin. London: Batsford. Haliday, C. (1969) The Scandinavian Kingdom of Dublin. Shannon: Irish University Press Hoppen, K.T. (1999) Ireland Since 1800 Hundred: Conflict and Conformity. 2nd Ed. Edinburgh: Pearson Education. Kelly, D. (1995) Four Roads to Dublin: The History of Ranelagh, Rathmines and Leeson St. Dublin: O’Brien. Liddy, P. (1992) Dublin stolen from time perspectives of Dublin 1790s to 1990s. Dublin: Oisin Art Gallery Liddy, P. (2003) Pat Liddy and the changing landscapes of Dublin. Dublin: DublinCityInfo.ie Little, G.A. (1957) Dublin Before The Vikings. Dublin: M.H. Gill McCarthy, P. (2006) A Favourite Study: Building the King’s Inns. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan. McCullough, N. (2007) Dublin: An Urban History. Dublin: The Lilliput Press. McParland, E. (2001) Public Architecture in Ireland: 1680 – 1760. London: Yale

51

University Press. Pearson, P. (2000) The Heart of Dublin: Resurgence of an historic city. Dublin: The O’Brien Press. Petrie, G. (1835) Illustrations of the landscape and coast scenery of Ireland. Dublin: Wakeman. Prunty, J. (1998) Dublin Slums 1800-1925. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. Sandymount Community Services (1989) History of Ringsend. Dublin: Sandymount Community Services. Sandymount, Irishtown,

Wright, G.N. (1821). An historical guide to ancient and modern Dublin. London: Baldwin, Craddock & Joy.

8.2

Historical Documents

Brooking, C. (1728) A map of the city and suburbs of Dublin. Dublin: NLI. Clarke, B. & Simms, A. (1988) Later Medieval Dublin, 1170 – 1540. Dublin: NLI. Clarke, B. (1988) Gaelic Dublin, sixth to ninth century. Dublin: NLI Clarke, B. (1988) Scandinavian Dublin, 841 -1170. Dublin: NLI Clarke, H. B. (2002) Growth of Dublin to 1610 (Speed’s Map). Dublin: : Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Clarke, H. B. (2002) Dublin c. 840 – 1540: the Medieval town in the modern city. Dublin: Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Clarke, H.B., Gillespie, R. & Simms, A. eds. (2002) Dublin, Part I, to 1610, Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 11. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. De Gomme, B. (1673) The citty and suburbs of Dublin, 1673. Dublin: NLI. Dick, S (2000) Plate 1. Part of artist’s impression of Dublin, looking North c. 1000. Dublin: Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Dublin Civic Survey (1925) Map of Housing in Dublin. Dublin: NLI Duncan, W. (1821) Map of the county of Dublin. Dublin: NLI. Harvey, T. R. (1850). Panoramic view of the county of Wicklow and of the city of Dublin. Dublin: NLI. Larcom, T. (1837) Map of the county of the city of Dublin, 1837. Dublin: Irish Historic Towns Atlas.

52

National Library of Ireland. (1988) Historic Dublin Maps. Dublin: National Library of Ireland. O’Brien, D. (2000) Plate 2: Reconstruction of Dublin, looking North c. 1500. Dublin: Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Ordnance Survey Ireland (1846-7) Dublin, 1846-7. Dublin: Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Ordnance Survey Ireland (1876) Dublin, Sheet 18. Dublin: NLI. Ordnance Survey Ireland (1948) Dublin, Administrative Edition. Dublin: NLI. Ordnance Survey Ireland (2000), Dublin 2000. Dublin: : Irish Historic Towns Atlas. Rocque, J. (1756) Plan of the city of Dublin and the environs. Dublin: NLI. Simms, A. (1988) The site of Medieval Dublin. Dublin: NLI Speed, J. (1610) Dubline. Dublin: NLI

8.3

Websites

London Docklands Museum (No Date) London Docklands Museum (online) available : http://www.museumindocklands.org.uk/English Museum of London (No Date) Museum of London (online) available :http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/English Natural History Museum (No Date) Natural History Museum (online) available :http://www.nhm.ac.uk National Library of Ireland (No Date) National Library of Ireland (online) available :www.nli.ie National Museum of Ireland (No Date) National Museum of Ireland (online) available : www.museum.ie The American Museum of Natural History (No Date) The American Museum of Natural History available : http://www.amnh.org The American National Building Museum (No Date) The American National Building Museum available : http://www.amnh.org The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (No Date) The Lower East Side Tenement Museum available : http://www.tenement.org

53

The National Air and Space Museum (No Date) The National Air and Space Museum available : http://www.nasm.si.edu The United States Holocaust Museum (No Date) The United States Holocaust Museum available: http://www.ushmm.org Victoria and Albert Museum (No Date) Victoria and Albert Museum available: http://www.vam.ac.uk

8.4

DVD

Dublin City Council (2005) Medieval Dublin: From Vikings to Tudors [DVD] Dublin: The Farm.

54

APPENDIX 1 Production Schedule Table I.1 outlines the production schedule of the project. In it are captured key dates during the lifecycle of the project. Task Start Date Research in National Library, ESB Georgian 19/06/08 House, Richview Architect Library UCD; Meet up with Pat Liddy and agree his involvement Research in National Library, Trinity Map 26/06/08 Library, Dublinia and 1000 Years Of Dublin Exhibition Scan Historical map images from UCD 2/06/08 Richview library; Draw up application flow, research CSS and Flash capability Research video codec’s suitable for project Decide on video screen size and application resolution, research flv capability of Final Cut Pro Research and take tutorials for Adobe After 16/06/08 Effects; Meet up with Eddie McParland from TCD to agree his involvement; Discuss Kings Inns history with Patrica Murphy TCD; Visit National Library Prints section: Review Brocas, Francis Wheatley, Malton, Thomas Tudor, GN Wright, Patrick Traynor prints; Research animating maps with After Effects. Prepare Script for Eddie McParland 30/06/08 interview; Photograph current day Medieval city of Dublin. Discuss project with Christine Casey UCD. 04/07/08 Complete 23/06/08 27/08/08 Complete 20/08/08 Complete 9/06/08 13/08/08 Complete 6/08/08 Complete 30/06/08 Complete End Date 23/06/08 Status Complete

55

Task Start Date Contact RIA about meeting Sarah Gearty (cartographer) Meet up with Supervisor to Review Progress. Shoot Video with Eddie McParland. Edit Video in Final Cut Pro. Integrate video in HTML, CSS and Flash application. Commence building flash application after 14/07/08 deciding with supervisor on architecture of application. Develop application slider and map flow. Shoot Video with Pat Liddy. Integrate video 21/07/08 with Flash application. Develop video and audio playing components and integrate with main application. Meet up with Supervisor to Review progress. Re-work interface design and refine map flow. Complete Photoshop work on all maps. Create external enlarge Component for Images. Complete main timeline flash work. 4/08/08 Shoot Video with John Montague. Capture 11/08/08 and edit video and create relevant flv files. Develop Annotated Map module Complete Audio production for application. Modularise text functionality of application – i.e. externalise text input for improvement of maintenance. Meet up with Supervisor to Review Progress. Refine slider functionality. Add context historical information. Harmonise all fonts, sizes and style of buttons 25/08/08 18/08/08 28/07/08 7/07/08

End Date

Status

11/08/08

Complete

18/08/08

Complete

25/07/08

Complete

02/08/08

Complete

08/08/08 15/08/08

Complete Complete

22/08/08

Complete

29/08/08=

Complete

56

Task and text on application. Complete updates agreed supervisor meeting.

Start Date upon from 1/09/08

End Date 05/09/08

Status Complete

Commence writing project report. Meet up and review project report with 8/09/08 supervisor. Update Report Complete user testing of application Final review of report Print report and have bound Burn CD with application Present Project and Application to course board 15/09/08 22/09/08 29/09/08 2/10/08 2/10/08 3/10/08

12/08/08 19/08/08 26/09/08 01/10/08 2/10/08 2/10/08 3/10/08

Complete Complete Complete Complete Complete Complete Complete

Table Appendix I.2: Production schedule for project

57

APPENDIX II Map Analysis The following is a list of the maps that have been in the application. Map Name Original Gaelic Dublin Gaelic Settlement Map Drawing of Dublin 1000 Scandinavian Map Medieval Topography Map Medieval Map circa 1170 Medieval Dublin map Medieval Model John Speed 1610 Map Early 17th Century Dublin Map Dub DeGomme 1673 Map Dublin Map 1690 Brooking 1728 Map Henry Pratt 1708 Map John Rocque 1756 map Dublin 1811 Mid-Nineteenth Century Map Dublin 1938 Map Overlaid OS Dublin Map Screen No 1 1a 2a 2 3 3a 4 4a 5 5a 6 6a 7 7a 8 9 9a 10 10a Source NLI Historic Dublin Maps RIA IHTA Series RIA IHTA Series NLI Historic Dublin Maps NLI Historic Dublin Maps RIA IHTA Series NLI Historic Dublin Maps RIA IHTA Series NLI Historic Dublin Maps UCD Richview map library UCD Richview map library UCD Richview map library UCD Richview map library RIA IHTA Series UCD Richview map library UCD Richview map library UCD Richview map library RIA IHTA Series RIA IHTA Series

Table Appendix II.3: List of maps included

58

APPENDIX III Questionnaires The following section contains the five responses form a sample of twenty questionnaires that were carried out in order to gauge the general awareness of Dublin’s history. The questions were asked directly to the participants and their answers were recorded on the sheet for them. .

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

73

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.