Journal article

'PastPort': Reflections on the Design of a Mobile App for Citizen Heritage in Port Melbourne

Wally Smith, Hannah Lewi, David Nichols

Australian Historical Studies | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2018


This article reports the authors’ design and evaluation of a web-based app called PastPort for the locality of Port Melbourne. Created through an interdisciplinary collaboration between architectural history, planning, cultural heritage and human–computer interaction, PastPort allows local citizens and history groups to post and share historic materials, and is designed to be used by residents and visitors in situ as a mobile guide. We reflect on our design of PastPort, together with evidence from a study of early users, to explore how digital heritage tools quickly become inscribed with historiographic tendencies for how the past might be constructed, communicated and experienced.


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The 'Citizen Heritage' Project is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP140101188. Chief Investigators are Hannah Lewi, Wally Smith, David Nichols, Tom Kvan - University of Melbourne; Steven Cooke - Deakin University; and Dirk vom Lehn - Kings College London. Andrew Murray and Dora Constantinidis are the project's research fellows who have assisted greatly in the collection of interview material for this article. We also thank both the City of Port Phillip and the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society for encouragement and assistance.