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PhoneBooth Project Plan

December 16, 2011

The main goal of PhoneBooth is to repackage the Charles Booth Maps, Descriptive of London Poverty and selected notebooks from contemporary police observations for delivery to mobile devices. These materials are already available digitally through the Charles Booth Online Archive.

We will pilot the use of the mobilised maps and notebooks in a taught undergraduate course at LSE: London’s Geographies.

Project Outputs

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To enhance the existing Booth data to enable mobile delivery
  • To produce a model and technical capacity for the mobile delivery of Library-owned content
  • To engage with LSE academics and students involved in the London’s Geographies course to inform the development of mobile Library content
  • To evaluate the impact of mobilised content on teaching
  • To enhance the student experience of the course
  • To facilitate knowledge transfer within the professional community

The outputs from the project will be:

  • User/functional requirements for mobile content delivery
  • A revised course syllabus to include assesment of students’ use of the mobile content
  • Booth maps and notebooks in georeferenced preservation and delivery formats
  • Fedora/Hydra content models for geodata
  • Ingest of the Booth maps/notebooks into LSE Digital Library and an API for spatial query
  • A prototype web application for the delivery of Booth maps and notebooks to mobile devices
  • Knowledge transfer between EDINA and LSE
  • Report on the development of mobile content and its impact on teaching

Success measures:

  • A working prototype mobile web application that is used successfully by this year’s student cohort taking London’s Geographies
  • Increased knowledge of mobile and spatial technologies in the LSE Digital Library team
  • A positive impact on the teaching methodology of London’s geographies and a demonstrated engagement between the Library and academic community

Project Team

The project partners are LSE and EDINA. LSE own the collection and are responsible for gathering user requirements and project management/direction. EDINA are responsible for developing the technical prototype and sharing knowledge of the implementation with the LSE Digital Library Team

Project board (LSE)

  • Nicola Wright (deputy director of library service)
  • Sue Donnelly (head of archives)
  • Sharad Chari (lecturer, London’s geographies)

LSE staff

  • Ed Fay [@digitalfay] (digital library manager) – project management
  • Andrea Gibbons [@changita] (GTA, London’s Geographies) – gathering requirments from students and co-ordinating the piloting work
  • Andrew Amato (digital library developer) – ingesting the content into our digital library infrastructure and providing it out through APIs
  • Peter Spring (metadata technical officer, LSE) – providing support for the metadata aspects of the project

EDINA staff

  • James Reid [@sixfootdestiny] (geoservices manager) – project co-ordination and technical architecture
  • George Hamilton (software engineer) – technical prototyping of the application
  • John Pinto (software engineer) – technical prototyping of the application
  • Lasma Sietinsone (gi analyst) – providing support for the geographic aspects of the project

Timeline and work packages

Workpackage Owner Deliverables Timescale
0 – Project management LSE
  • Project initiation (project plan and budget)
  • Project communications (blog, Twitter)
  • Reporting (JISC, LSE Digital Library Steering Board)
November 2011 – July 2012
1 – User requirements analysis LSE
  • Report on user requirements
  • Revised course syllabus
  • Functional requirements
November 2011 – December 2011
2 – Data preparation EDINA
  • Booth maps and notebooks in georeferenced preservation and delivery formats
  • Knowledge transfer to LSE
January 2012 – March 2012
3 – Development: Digital Library LSE
  • Fedora/Hydra content models for geodata
  • Ingest of Booth content into LSE Digital Library
  • API for spatial query of Booth content
February 2012 – April 2012
4 – Development: delivery prototype EDINA
  • Prototype web application (initial version delivered April 2012 for testing, refinements and knowledge transfer to complete by June 2012)
  • Knowledge transfer to LSE
February 2012 – June 2012
5 – Piloting LSE
  • Use of the prototype in the 2011/12 ‘London’s Geographies’ course
  • Report on findings: pedagogical impact
  • Refinements to the course syllabus for 2012/13
April 2012 – May 2012
6 – Reporting on findings LSE
  • Case study on the development of mobile content and its impact on teaching
May 2012 – July 2012

Risk analysis

Risk Probability (1-5) Severity (1-5) Impact (Probability x Severity) Action
Project staff become unavailable 3 2 6
  • Project resources will be used to replace project team members. In all cases, the organisational context is such that project-specific knowledge and support can be provided by colleagues.
  • All project staff are existing, permanent staff of their respective institutions—the project does not require any additional recruitment.
  • The offer of extra hours to part-time staff to fill the project assistant post is an approach that has been used successfully at LSE on a number of digitisation projects.
Mobile prototype is not useful in course context 4 1 4
  • A thorough understanding of general user needs and requirements as well as those specific to the aims of the taught course will be the basis for development.
  • The Booth content is already used in the course and is suited to the course syllabus.
Booth content does not lend itself to geographic discovery or mobile delivery 5 1 5
  • Booth content is already provided for geo-discovery – giving high confidence that the remaining content can be delivered successfully. Comparison will be sought with other projects which have successfully delivered large format map and multi-page textual material to mobile devices.
The taught course does not run after the 2011/12 academic year 1 2 2
  • The prototype will be designed for a general audience as well as the specific needs of the taught course, making PhoneBooth available to existing, mature audiences of the Charles Booth Online Archive.
  • The prototype and service model will be designed to be useful for other content and delivery contexts, maximising reuse potential for other taught courses and collections.
The technical prototype and mobile access points are not maintained following project closure 1 3 3
  • The content and applications will be embedded into the infrastructure of the LSE Digital Library which is a major, strategic innovation and has a commitment of permanent, technical resource for its maintenance and development.
Smartphone ownership in the pilot cohort is not sufficient for use of content in teaching 4 2 8
  • The LSE Library Student Survey suggests that smartphone ownership will be sufficient for pairs of students to work together in the field – an approach acceptable to the course lecturer


The total project budget is £85,659 (£43,206 from JISC). Most of the LSE staff time and nearly all of the indirect and estates costs are institutional contributions.


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