Voices from the South Downs National Park – Farmers

As part of the Landshapers series, a range of short audio accompaniments were created as a background to the beautiful landscape of the the South Downs National Park and the South Downs Way National Trail.

The first set gives voice to the many farmers on the varied landscape of the South Downs.

Hear the other audio accompaniments in the series

These one to two minute audio tracks give voice to real farmers and conservationist’s stories and thoughts of how their lives on the South Downs continue to shape the landscape we see today and how the South Downs landscape evolved, to help us further our understanding of this remarkable place.

For more details see www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns

All audio is copyright South Downs Way National Trail

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Using QR codes in the heritage sector

Image Video showing how QR codes can be used effectively in the heritage and conservation sectors, especially in inmanned and more remote heriatge sites as an ideal compliment or low cost replacement for inetrpretation boards. See 4 minute video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j_KZ953SPY&feature=plcp

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Heritage QR Code research project

As the final dissertation part of a Building Conservation MSc at the Weald and Downland Museum, The www.itsinconservation.co.uk website has been created that uses a whole range of online technologies, but which focuses specifically on the benefits that the use Quick Response (QR) codes can bring to UK heritage and conservation.

QR codes appear frequently now, and are regularly used in magazines, posters, on TV and buildings as an advertising tool.  The QR research initiative will explore the effective use of QR codes to help visitors of all ages to UK heritage locations, by providing links to new and interesting online and text information.

The goal is to use QR codes to help UK heritage site vistors to get a better appreciation and understanding of our unique buildings, history and culture. A QR code research trial is running from June to August 2012 with over 70 QR codes at 4 sites including Dover Castle, Boxgrove Priory, Bramber Castle and the South Downs National Park.

Using a QR reader linked to the built-in camera on their mobiles or devices and a mobile internet connection, visitors will be able to scan any of the QR codes at the sites, plus also download the QR reader at the entrance to each site if they don’t currently have it on their device.

The results of the QR code research will be finalised towards the end of August and then presented in September 2012 to the heritage and conservation sectors.

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QR code use in heritage and conservation

You might assume that QR codes only link to website pages, but in fact they can also be used to link to pictures, audio, video, plain text and even interactive games. Many of these new ideas about how to use QR codes are still in their infancy, so that’s why IT’s in Conservation is running public research to help develop and improve the use of QR codes in four heritage locations in the South of England.

This project will help visitors to get the most out of visits to the heritage properties around the UK. Whilst this first stage is a limited trial covering just four locations, the benefit of QR codes is that the cost of introducing them is relatively low and the impact of them fairly minimal. There is a QR Code research questionnaire which will allow QR trial users to submit comments on their experiences.

If the research is positive, then we hope to roll out QR codes to lots of other heritage places across the UK.

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IT’s in Conservation kicks off!

See www.itsinconservation.co.uk
IT’s in Conservation is a technology research organisation set up specifically to see how new technologies can aid the heritage and conservation sectors.

On starting the MSc course in Building Conservation at the Weald and Downland Museum, one thing that became apparent very early on was the lack of new and online technology knowledge and true appreciation of its potential benefits within these sectors.

An early mission was therefore to bring heritage and conservation kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The idea was to use the latest technology to provide simple, low cost solutions to get across the message about the importance of heritage and conservation to the general public, and then to communicate this to the public using a range of new technology methods, both at heritage sites and over the Web.

The first stage was to build a new website that illustrated the use and potential of some of these technologies such as QR codes, architectural photo software, social media, online newspapers and online video channel creation.

This website is now live at www.itsinconsevation.co.uk – all comments are welcome on its focus and contents.

Andrew Kerry-Bedell

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