Presenting research - Location based tools

Learning intention

Students collect images to enhance their research and explore online tools to present their historical inquiry.

Students will:

  • Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past 
  • Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) 
  • Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies 



Ask students to collect a series of images from their research. You can use Google image search, Creative Commons search (for copyright free images) or Trove and the State Library Victoria catalogue for historical images.

Talk about image copyright and how it's important to take note of image attribution and usage rights during research.

Introduce students to an online tool like Historypin or What was there. Both sites let you take images, annotate and associate them with a specific location on a map.

Historypin lets you link images, video, audio and more to specific locations. Students could use Historypin to map the life of an important figure or progress of a series of events, incorporating narration and images from historical collections. For example, students could map significant events in the life of a Victorian nurse or soldier during WWI using images, manuscripts and audio from their research.

What was there is a slightly different tool that lets you overlay images with Google Street View. By overlaying historical photos and illustrations with contemporary images you can show change over time or explore the impact of a period or historical event. For example, students could look at images of a city before or after the war and compare to urban landscapes today.

Create a space or time for students to share their work with others. This could be through shared resources, posts to a class blog, presentations to the class, or an exhibition of work for the school community. 

More to explore

To find out more about finding images online, see Primary sources online in the Learn skills section of this site.

Historypin in the classroom - Bright ideas blog

What was there – historical photos and Google Maps - Bright Ideas blog