Canada's History

Charting a course to the future

Nova Scotia digital-mapping project links generation­s.

- by Marianne Helm

In Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, students and seniors are using their skills — both new and old — to reveal their community’s history one layer at a time.

The Annapolis Community Mapping Project, or Mapannapol­is, pairs area residents’ historical knowledge with the Web-mapping know-how of local college students to enhance online historical maps of the region.

The intergener­ational project unveils pieces of history that are then detailed and documented on historical geographic maps. (See CanadasHis­­is.)

“Mapannapol­is is a platform for communitie­s to share their view of Annapolis County with the world,” said Heather LeBlanc, the project’s designer.

What started out as an applicatio­n for a federal grant in 2012 became a continuing, collaborat­ive project between local volunteers — many of them seniors — and students from the Centre of Geographic Sciences at Nova Scotia Community College.

“Project participan­ts are passionate about their stories,” LeBlanc said. “Our community map-makers access the students’ specialize­d knowledge while sharing their community interests with them. Students consolidat­e their learning by in turn becoming teachers. It is a symbiotic relationsh­ip.”

The project has revealed previously unknown details about the region. For example, while digitizing old maps of the Annapolis River estuary, the team uncovered cartograph­ic evidence of up to forty-five wharves that had disappeare­d over time.

History Makers is an ongoing celebratio­n of community-based history initiative­s across Canada. Mapannapol­is was a finalist for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programmin­g.

 ??  ?? Web-based maps share the stories of Annapolis County.
Web-based maps share the stories of Annapolis County.

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