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CanadaPrince George, Canada
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

a web application to help communities capture their stories

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The elders of BCs First Nations are dying. With them will go a wealth of knowledge about the land and people. the stories that define us a a diversity of humanity need to be recorded. landsongs is a web application to help communities record the ir stories. This need is heightened in the fa e of industrial development and pressure. Knowing the places which are sacred and special can help communities make better decisions about their own futures.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific! is a web application which a community can use to record their stories. These stories are geolocated on a map and can have media attached to them. A community can develop a project using this application as a convenient datastore, getting their youth to interview the community's elders and recording them in the system. Those records can have keywords attached and subsequently be searched by the rest of the community. thus providing a living library of their culture. Landsongs is built using geoweb technologies meaning that it has geographic capabilities built in. presently the application has been used by one community and is about to be supplied to a further two. The application is currently being built out to support numerous communities. Allowing easy, affordable access to technology which would previously have been unattainable.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Tsay Keh Dene first asked for an application like landsongs to be built. They asked this so they could fully understand the history of a specific place in response to industrial interest. This application has allowed them to compare modern environmental monitoring data with their own histories to better understand how the land is reacting to various activities. This application is now housing many of the Tsay Keh's stories and their database grows as the elders remember more. One story will lead to another and soon the map fills up with tales of history, facts about hunting areas and journeys people have taken across the landscape. The act of recording the stories means that community members can return to the application and learn more about their own culture. This application is actively used in land management decisions as well as supporting the treaty process. It is hoped that it might be used in the community school in the future. These experiences teach the individuals involved to remember, but they also remind the rest of us that there is more to our culture than Hollywood, and more to our histories than is presently written down.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

This market is hugely fragmented. There are few direct competitors, but a number of big technology providers on the periphery of the central feature of landsongs, which is the capture of a community's stories. The direct competitors come in the form of bespoke software developers that have written applications for individual communities. The large technology providers (ESRI etc) generally provide a generalized desktop GIS solution, which could be morphed into a suitable solution. But this path is beset with capacity issues. Landsongs seeks to be a solution which does not need a technician to run it. Leveraging the 'facebook generation" landsongs can hopefully help bind the young and old through storytelling.

Founding Story

I have built a version of this system for a local first nation. Other Nations have looked at the technology and realized that this might also fill a hugely important hole in their data collection. The aha, was realizing that i could provide a system via the web which is socially important, useful and affordable to First Nations.