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Desire

Product #37

"Microfacts"

Purpose of the Product

"The reason the product is being developed."

Background of the project

"A short description of the work being done, and the situation that triggered the analysis effort."

<p>To allow people to string together 'factlets' into narratives organized by theme, time and space.</p> <p>The historian faces the task of fashioning a single narrative from a multitude of contending possibilities. They are restricted to taking a single path through the complex mass of events and persons. For example, for any given moment a historian of the Cold War will be forced to choose whether to talk about the actions of one or another participant in the conflict. A narrative of the Cuban Missile Crisis will be able to alternate between the situations faced by Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro, but will remain unable to render events coincidentally.</p> <p>While technology cannot eliminate the limitations of historical narrative prose, it can allow us to represent past events in ways which would not force us to shoehorn them into a single definitive sequence. New internet technologies could be used to create a system which would let users re-use the same historical material in different story-lines, and represent it visually using maps and timelines. Such a system would be like a collection of index cards, with each card containing a brief description of an event along with geographical, temporal and thematic information. Users of the system could select and order 'index cards' to tell a particular story, as well as see groups of cards sorted by space, time, theme, or a combination of these.</p> <p>In addition to complementing the linear character of the histories of textbooks and articles, a web application along these lines would promote a more widespread engagement with historical material. It would enrich users' experience and understanding of history, and allow them to generate their own storylines and to view and modify a multiplicity of others. While the basic index cards could be user-generated, there is a great deal of open material available that could be recycled in order to provide the application with a wealth of content on release. This would allow the user to focus on exploring it and creating storylines using innovative web-based tools.</p> <p>The past is complex and multi-faceted. Weaving History would strive to represent this complexity, and to invite users to participate in the history making process.</p> <p>http://knowledgeforge.net/microfacts/trac</p>

Goals of the work

Stakeholders

"The roles or names of people and organizations who will finance or otherwise contribute to, or are affected by the product."

<p>Open Knowledge Foundation</p>

Scope of the Work

"An analysis of the stories that might be supported by the new product."

The product supports these stories:

Scope of the System

"Determine, with the appropriate stakeholders, which part of the story should be supported by some sort of product and what part should be done entirely by the user."

The product shall satisfy these requirements:

Functional Requirements

Collections

This product has been included in the following collections:

Collection
Open Knowledge


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