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About Us

Building Stories is an online interactive inventory and mobile application that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets.

Building Stories will add significantly to the tools available to engage the public, explain the importance of heritage and build community confidence. Building Stories can help identify properties to place on municipal registers, to identify areas as Heritage Conservation Districts and to expand the volunteer base of the conservation movement.

The Building Stories features include:
• Anyone with a web browser who registers can contribute sites or comments
• Enables anyone to help build the inventory of recognized and non-recognized historic buildings, structures and sites across Canada
• Only a minimum of information is required to enter a site, typically the municipal address, a photo, contributor name and common name of the site or building
• Optional information captured can include documents, old photos, stories, videos, etc.
• Icons (simple pictures) originally developed by Parks Canada, help people to identify and name elements of a building
• Contributions are filtered for inappropriate content by the Heritage Resources Centre
• The system features an interactive map that can be used to locate a building
• A mediated social network that is designed to facilitate communication among organizations and registered members and to enable the secure distribution of authority to publish to participating organizations
• Participating organizations can also manage the content contributed by their members to ensure appropriate content

Uses of Building Stories:
• Search the system and results are presented on the search page with map-based pop-ups that illustrate linked information such as photos or videos
• Each property has a report which details all information entered
• Mobile App capability for contributors and users who can download:
     o pre-determined tours (e.g. walking or driving tours)
     o self-selected tours (users chose places to visit)
     o event tours (e.g. Doors Open- only available at specific times)
     o proximity feature which alerts an app user to the nearest historic properties

If you have any comments or questions please email us.

Heritage Resources Centre

The Heritage Resources Centre (HRC), at the University of Waterloo is a research centre that specializes in built and cultural heritage. The Centre’s mission is to promote a better understanding of natural and human heritage for the improvement of planning management and public policy through research, education, and extension work.

The Centre for Community Mapping

The Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP), is a not-for-profit corporation based in Waterloo Ontario devoted to research and development, creation and deployment of strategies for socio-economic, cultural and environmental innovation based on modern information and communications technology.

Computer Systems Group

The Computer Systems Group (CSG) at the University of Waterloo is a research group that specializes in document and software engineering, and software design and implementation. The members of the group study the process of building software and then implement practical software systems to test the ideas.