I’ll be starting work on a new project for BBC London next week – it should culminate in TV and Radio packages. Looks exciting:
In 1986 the BBC asked a million people to contribute to a digital snapshot of Britain called the BBC Domesday Project, The scale and ambition of this democratic portrait of the U.K. was unprecedented. The UK was divided into 3×4 km blocks to be surveyed by a school, WI group, scout troop or sometimes an enthusiastic individual. Between them these contributors covered 9000 blocks, approximately 75% of the populated land mass and generated 25,000 pictures and 150,000 articles
However disaster struck; the format became first unaffordable and then obsolete. The result was that most people never saw their contributions and probably assumed they were lost to history.
However all this is about to change. Many enthusiasts over the years have worked to address the problem and, behind the scenes at the BBC George Auckland and his team, at BBC Learning, have extracted all this community data and the BBC are now converting it to modern web based formats.
25 years on, in May 2011, the BBC will release around 25,000 photos of British life and landscapes and approximately 150,000 pages of accompanying text, onto the Domesday Reloaded website.