Blog | Heritage, Sense of Place, and the Digital World

We are constantly interacting with space and place, shaping it, and being shaped by it. How much of our sense of place is based on, shaped by, reflected in, what others share in the digital realm? How do those images frame our view, and how the city is developed?

Insta-feed photos Bigg Market

Local News

Recent Tweets mentioning Bigg Market

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Bigg Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, during the day (picture by me)

One of the case studies in my current research is the Bigg Market, those familiar with Newcastle (upon Tyne) probably know this as a specific type of place in the city. An image of it is easily accessible by various feeds on such place, by geotagged stories and images people share, or by local news feeds for example. How much of this influences our (heritage) understanding of the significance of this place?

I recently found this Geotaggers’ World Atlas. Can we (should we?) use it, to understand the significance of a place, assuming people take and post (!) pictures for a reason? Would such information be a good addition to the current methods of developing heritage significance statements? Do they show what people value? Or do they show what people think their friends  and followers might like? If we go in more detail on analysing geotagged images and words, could this be a way to be more inclusive on what people value and why? Will it redefine what heritage is?

What do you think?

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