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Hypercities to reveal layers of history

March 30, 2010

Hypercities is a research and education platform that aims to allow visitors to explore the historical layers of a location.

A HyperCity is a map of a city (based on Google technology) that can be overlaid with genealogies, news footage, photos, 3D reconstructions, oral histories, and more. The project is currently working on content for more than a dozen cities including Chicago, Lima, Ollantaytambo, Berlin, Saigon, and Seoul. Hypercities began a couple years ago as a collaboration between UCLA and USC and has received funding from the Keck and MacArthur Foundations. It is open content and anyone is permitted to register and add data.

I visited the site with the actual data (versus the descriptive one) and learned that it is in “Beta 2.” This version, released last September, is already being used by students, teachers, and others. I zoomed in on Chicago and didn’t find very much. Then I went to Los Angeles and was able to overlay a map of the original Spanish land grants in the area. Since I had not gone through the tutorial it was not clear how to remove the overlay.

This article is meant to be a teaser to encourage folks to visit the site and learn more. I’ll be interested to hear what you find and what you think about the idea.

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