Two members of our research team, Prof Claire Squires and Dr Padmini Ray Murray, travelled to Tiree this weekend for the launch of Frasan. Frasan (seeds or shower in Gaelic) is the mobile archive app funded by the first call of the Digital R&D fund, and delivered by An Iodhlann (Tiree’s historical centre) in partnership with Prof Alan Dix (University of Birmingham) and Mark Vale (Tiree Broadband).
The app, built in HTML5, is accessible via any smart phone, tablet or computer, on or offline (Tiree has a patchy 3G signal). Archival objects from An Iodhlann (photos, illustrations, documents and objects including a home-made potato gun!) are geolocated to main locations on the island, so tourists and islanders can explore the archival collections, and the history of Tiree, outside of the archives, and even on the beach. It also works as an island satnav, with GPS tracking on the map. Additionally, it links through to Tiree Place Names website, which records the richness of Gaelic names in the landscape.
The launch was held at the same time as the Tiree Tech Wave, at which academics and technology specialists from Tiree and around the UK gathered to hack solutions to various challenges, including that of conveying information digitally about island activities. Everyone enjoyed celebrating the launch of the app – and trialling it – befitting the aspiration of Dr John Holliday that Tiree should be a ‘pathfinder digital community’.