Endangered Places Lists: The RuskinARC Way

One of our most recent improvements to RuskinARC has been the addition of trial accounts that anyone can sign up for and use for small projects that they may have. One of the types of projects that we’ve been seeing a lot of people talk about lately is Endangered Places lists. We feel that it’s important to promote these fragile places as prominently as possible and try to get the story across about why these places are important to the heart and soul of the surrounding communities.

To help with that, we would like to extend an invitation to all communities to use our trial accounts to promote your Endangered Places and help tell their story.

Why RuskinARC for Endangered Places Lists?

We’ve seen Endangered Places lists in a couple of forms lately, including Facebook posts and Google Maps and all of them seem to be lacking a certain cohesiveness. It’s hard to get across the story of how these things are connected and what they mean, either because the Facebook post has no map and it’s hard to conceptualize where these place are or the Google Map doesn’t have images or good descriptions so it’s hard to tell what these places are.

RuskinARC is designed to tell the whole story, with maps, pictures and descriptions to give a whole sense of where these places are, what they mean and why they’re important to protect. We are currently working on features that will make that storytelling even more powerful, but we also think that RuskinARC is the best tool out there right now for sharing and showcasing this kind of preservation work.

How To…

As a little primer for setting up an endangered places list in RuskinARC, let me run you through some of the first steps.

First, sign up for a trial account. You can name the account whatever you want, but I would recommend just naming it whatever you call your endangered places list, say “The Richmond Fragile Fifteen” or “Raleigh’s Endangered Places”.

After you activate your account from the email we send you and log in, you’re put right into adding your first buildings. For best results,

  • Add pictures. Nothing tells a story of what a place means like pictures. Trial accounts are limited to two pictures for each place and we would recommend uploading a historic picture of the place and a picture of it now to add contrast of its change over time.
  • Fill out some of the historical and architectural details. Those fields are used to generate a description of the building when people look at the details of it. It also makes it easy to search for specific architects or time periods.
  • Fill out the Additional Description, Remarks, Significance section with the place’s story. This is the other important piece that builds the rich description for each building.

After adding five places, you’ll be taken back to the description of the last place you entered. To keep adding more, just click on the New Resource link in the top right menu.

Once you’re done adding them all, feel free to look at the map and image view to see how everything looks. If you’re happy with it, click the Settings link on the top right menu. This will allow you to change the Home Page Summary for the whole project, which will show on the Summary screen when people first visit. You can also set the project as Publicly Viewable, which will allow anyone to come and view your project (but they can’t edit it). After you save that, copy the web address and tell the world about it.

While it does take time to get them all in, we believe that the richness you get out of it and the story you can tell is very worth it, to you and to your community.

Give it a shot and let us know what you think.