Story map of Port's colourful past is an Australian-first

Aug 19, 2014 -- The City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council is unveiling its colourful heritage with the publication of more than 2000 photos via an Australian-first online story map.

From the very first Port Adelaide Magpies premiership team, to an unknown daredevil biker’s fiery stunts during the city’s 1956 centenary celebrations, the images capture more than a century of the iconic city’s history.

Using smart-mapping technology from geospatial giant Esri Australia, Council developed the story map to liberate the pictures from the local library's extensive photographic history collection. 

“For more than a century, the city has been the gateway to trade and commerce in South Australia,” Council Geographic Information Services Officer Georgie Cassar said.

“It also provided the tens of thousands of emigrants who have arrived by ship over the years with their first impressions of Adelaide.

“We've now created an interactive story map that immerses the public in this rich and colourful history through the photography of the time.

“The story map features some of the earliest known photos of the port, trade and business pioneers as well as aerial imagery that captures in fascinating detail the breadth of the city’s urban sprawl and recent infrastructure renewal.”

Photos on the story map are sorted into collections – such as buildings, people and places – and embedded in the map according to the location in which they were taken.

Users can choose an image by clicking on its location on the map or by browsing through the collections.

Esri Australia Adelaide Business Manager David Trengove said an interactive map was the perfect way to the share the city’s historical journey. 

“People are intensely interested in the stories of those who came before them and the roles their ancestors played in the history of the area,” Mr Trengove said.

“Because smart-mapping technology enables images, video, audio and facts and figures to be directly associated with locations it’s an ideal vehicle for telling these stories.

“It provides the context of place, which is crucial in understanding the history of a city.

“This is also the first time that an Australian government has conducted an online map-based photographic heritage project of this scale, so the City of Port Adelaide Enfield is leading the nation by engaging with residents in such an innovative and interactive way.”

As well as a resource for curious residents, the story map is also being used by Council as a visual comparative tool for demonstrating the change in land use and built form over time and by historical groups as a research tool.

“We’re taking the story map into the city’s classrooms, where local history is now a key part of the curriculum,” Ms Cassar said.

Council has further plans to use the map to create themed history tourism routes, while work is currently underway on a similar Indigenous cultural history map of the Port Adelaide area.

To view the map visit Port Adelaide Enfield Local History Photo Web Application.

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