Thursday, September 16, 2010

JCHC First Look: Tracking the 105th

I've been hard at work on a project dealing with not only Jefferson County history, it also has deep ties to Civil War history.  For those of you who don't know, the American Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865.  Next year, being 2011, marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  In Pennsylvania, there is a statewide partnership of history organizations coming together to create a project called Pennsylvania Civil War 150 (PACW 150).  PACW 150 will honor and commemorate the lives lost and the freedoms gained through the war.

Because of PACW 150, you can expect new exhibits within the JCHC starting next year.  This is where my project comes into play.  Right here in Brookville, a group of young men were formed into the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers.  They were active in the war from 1861 all the way to 1865.  Here at the History Center, we thought it would be a good idea to display some artifacts from the 105th, share their photos, and most importantly, tell their story.  Since my goal here at the JCHC involves using technology throughout the museum, I started planning a project that will present the story of the 105th in an interactive manner.  In the museum, we have some touch screen monitors that include some narratives to go along with the exhibits.  My goal is to use one of these monitors to display a video made by using Google Earth that displays not only the locations the 105th found themselves, but also narratives of the events at each major location (battle information, outcome, assignments, etc.).  I envision being able to walk up to the touch screen, touch what year you'd like to hear about, and then being taken on the journey with the 105th.

Yesterday, I finished plotting the points within Google Earth for this project.  Here is what it looks like:

Each of the yellow pushpins represents a certain date that was important to the 105th.  At each of the pushpins, a balloon filled with text pops up, describing the events that took place at that location on that date.  Here is what one looks like:

Once I have all the balloon captions to my liking, the next step will be to screen capture the "flight" from one pushpin to another.  At each pin, the balloon will pop up and the text will be visible.  However, my plan is to also narrate the video once all the screen capture is done and I start the video editing.  Click here for a very low quality example of what video will eventually look like.  (Note: the software used to take this screen capture is not the same that will be used to make the actual video...the choppiness will disappear in the final project)

That about wraps up the first look into my first project at JCHC.  Be sure to check back for more updates in the near future.  If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me.


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