About Dimensions

Dimensions is an experimental prototype for the BBC. We want to bring home the human scale of events and places in history. The D-Day landing beaches measured from London to Norfolk in the UK. How far would the Titanic stretch down your street?

Dimensions simply juxtaposes the size of historical events with your home and neighbourhood, overlaying important places, events and things on a satellite view of where you live. Certain "Dimensions" can be transformed into short walks, so you can get a physical appreciation of the distances involved.


Why did you build "Dimensions"?

Dimensions is part of the BBC's continual experimentation in trying to find new ways to communicate history. In the case of the Dimensions protoype, it came out of a series of workshops and research in summer 2009, into what new forms of digital media could bring to the field. By building this small prototype we hope to learn more, and we'd really like your feedback on it. (see the link at the bottom of the page)

How do you make the Dimensions maps?

We've built a system that can quickly take scale illustrations of historical events and superimpose them on zoomable, clickable maps. Information designers at the BBC research and produce these illustrations based on a range of library and on-line resources to make them as accurate as possible. If you think we've got something wrong, get in touch.

Can I make a Dimensions map?

We hope to open up the ability to create Dimensions maps in a future version, so that local historians, experts and enthusiasts can use it as a tool for communicating what they know.

What's next for Dimensions?

We're going to evaluate the prototype based on your feedback, and hopefully integrate it into the BBC's online history and news coverage.