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Launched: HyperCities Los Angeles Research Collection

Launched: HyperCities Los Angeles Research Collection

Exciting news for HyperCities, a HASTAC/Macarthur Foundation 2008 Digital Media & Learning Competition winner: With the generous support of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, the HyperCities Los Angeles Research Collection has launched.

The “Los Angeles Research Collection” empowers citizens and researchers to use the tools of interactive “time mapping.”  With HyperCities, you can explore social, cultural, and political history in Los Angeles over time.  The site can be accessed from a web-browser in any school, community center, government office, home, and academic setting, allowing citizens to delve into and create their own collections of mappable knowledge and cultural heritage.  Community-generated content exists side-by-side with scholar-produced research data, thereby creating new interactions between traditionally separated domains of knowledge.

A centerpiece of the Los Angeles Research Collection is the “Pdub” collection of materials from Historic Filipinotown. Built by the Pilipino Worker’s Center (PWC), a community service organization serving LA’s Historic Filipinotown (“Hi Fi”), and Public Matters, a public history design and educational media partnership,  “Pdub Productions” is an innovative project using new media as a way to connect with, explore and promote Hi Fi’s rich history and culture.  The collection brings to life historical maps of the region using the voices, narratives, and videos of generations of people who live in the neighborhood.  In addition to featuring a trove of archival materials relating to the history of the region, it also provides viewers with a cultural map of the present-day neighborhood.

Social Scientists have contributed several important datasets as seed-beds for the planned growth of the Los Angeles Research Collections.  One is the Los Angeles County Union Census Tract Data Series, 1940-2000 (Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 2000-2006), created under the leadership of Philip Ethington and Dowell Myers, and consisting of 438 variables, for the years 1940-2000. With this data, users can track the demographic history of any census track in Los Angeles county over the past sixty years, or examine shifts in ethnic composition, median income, education level, age, occupation, and more.  The Voting and Demographic Data for the 2001 and 2005 Mayoral Elections in the City of Los Angeles, contributed by Mark Drayse and Raphael Sonenshein of CSU Fullerton, was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation; the Annual Immigration Data Aggregated to ZIP Code level data set was assembled by Ali Modarres of CSU Los Angeles.  HyperCities supplies the connective links between these separate collections and allows researchers, scholars, and community groups to access and utilize these data through a common online platform.

The “HiFi” collection is a “Featured Collection” — but users can also create their own collections using the publicly available data or “mix-and-match” historical maps and other collections from the HyperCities site.  To do so, simply close the HiFi collection (click the box in the upper-right corner) and begin exploring the historical maps and collections.  You can always return to HiFi under “featured collections” (click the book icon to see the full narrative view of the collection).  Over the next year, we will be dramatically expanding the LA collections with new featured collections on neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights and more demographic data-sets.

Collaborators on the HyperCities Los Angeles Research Collection: co-PIs: Jan Reiff, Diane Favro, and Chris Johanson, and Reanne Estrada, Philip Ethington, Dave Shepard, Mike Blockstein, Aquilina Soriano, Yoh Kawano, and Ryan Chen.


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