Project Team

Dr Catherine Emma Jones

I am the Project Director for the JISC funded Stepping into Time ProjectI am a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Porstmouth. I am interested in usability of geographic systems and data, health and urban mapping now and in the past.

Previous JISC Project, Co-Investigator: | IIGLU: Interactive, Integrated, Geospatial Learning and Understanding……. Building a framework for new learners who want to make a map but don’t know how.

Ali Naibbi

Ali is a Research Associate on the project, responsible for quality control –  transforming the digital scans into geographic data for use in the Stepping Into Time project. He is a PhD student at the Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth. His research area is exploring the application of Remote Sensing and GIS techniques to investigate the variation of vegetation cover over time in relation to fuelwood usage in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.

Felix Fennell

Felix has just finished his second year of undergraduate studies with the Department of Geography,University of Portsmouth. His role on the project is data capture and will be geo-referencing the historical images and digitally capturing the location of the bombs.  His interests are in using GIS to investigate data and solve to  problems and will be conducting a dissertation next year on how students perceive crime compared to the reported reality within Portsmouth. He is interested in perusing a career in GIS.

Dan Karran

Dan is the Developer on the project responsible for building an Android mobile application to explore the Stepping Into Time bomb census datasets using a map interface and Augmented Reality (AR) browser. He studied MSc in GIS at UCL in 2005 and works on a variety of web, mobile and geo development projects for his company, Geobits.

Dr Patrick Weber

Patrick specialises in spatial and location-based analysis but also has extensive technical expertise with open source GIS, he will be responsible for the technical development of the interactive website for the Stepping into Time project. He studied for an MSc is GIS at UCL is 2002 and is working on a projects for his company Location Insights.


Jasia Warren

Jasia is the interface designer and css coder for the project. She has over fifteen years experience in designing for the web and has worked for a variety of clients including the BBC, Halcrow, EJOLT and Mapping for Change.

4 Responses to Project Team

  1. Phil Appleby says:

    As a GIS student with an interest in history (forever wandering around London thinking what happened here? What used to be here? Is this architectural gap due to a bomb or bad planning?) this is just my kind of application – I am, of course, quite jealous that somebody got there first but there are many more mapping stories to be told.

    Great site!

  2. Barry Tucker says:

    Congratulations on this fascinating use of GIS and this important historical data source. I am a retired geographer who worked as a principal planning and researcher officer at what was originally the Dept of the Environment (now Dept for Communities). One of the projects I undertook when on secondment to one of the Dept’s executive agencies in the 1990s was to test the feasibility of integrating various geographical datasets for analytical, policy making and publication purposes. I found that some of the geographic datasets I was using were inconsistently geocoded and a significant proportion of site information was inaccurate. The reason I am mentioning this is because the same problem may exist with some of bomb site data, based on my knowledge of one location. One of the datasets I was using was the national survey of derelict land complied by local authorities for the Dept. One authority in the NW had got every one of the site grid references wrong by using the wrong lead digit which meant all of the sites appeared in Humberside when plotted by the GIS. Coincidentally, another authority had made a similar error and most of its sites appeared in the North Sea. As well as these obvious errors, which could be easily spotted and corrected, a significant proportion of the sites were wrongly coded, either as a result of transposed digits or the wrong grid reference having been determined. In these cases the error could be anything from a few metres to several kilometres and was difficult to identify.

    I have looked at the bomb site information for the area in North London where I grew up and have spotted what I think is a wrongly located bomb site – Rivulet Road, Wood Green, N17 7HX. The bomb site is on an allotment about 60 feet from the rear of my grandmother’s house, where I spent the first 18 months of my life. I am fairly certain that no bomb fell there because the house would have been destroyed or badly damaged if an HE bomb exploded there. Even if it had failed to detonate I am sure my mother, grandmother or other relative would have told me about it because we often discussed their wartime experiences. I don’t know what the source information is so can’t be certain whether or not it is incorrect but it presumably came from a local authority compiled dataset and my experience suggest a significant proportion of records will have incorrect grid references. Other bombs I am aware of are recorded eg near Bounds Green tube station which penetrated to the westbound platform and killed a number of Belgian refugees. One incident that I have read about does not appear to be recorded, however. This was a stick of bombs close to the Alexandra Palace TV transmitter which was being used to disrupt the German air navigation system by transmitting a false radio beam. It is possible this incident took place after June 1941 but I think this is unlikely because the Luftwaffe by then had turned its attention to the Soviet Union.

    I think this is a very worthwhile project and I hope it is well received and leads to similar uses of GIS to present important datasets to the public. Incidentally, the executive agency did eventually publish information on its regeneration activities and derelict sites through an online GIS application but I believe later derelict land surveys were undertaken by a planning consultant rather than local authorities.

    • Many thanks for your comments. We have used the original bomb census survey maps to locate the bombs. To gather the data was a lengthy process where each stage introduced some form of error. This is why the bomb locations are approximate and should only be used for academic, research or non-commercial activity. On the website there is a section that discusses the data sources and their locational accuracy. I do intend to write a more detailed blog post about this in the coming weeks.

  3. Adrian Rea says:

    I really love the whole site though I do have a suggestion for improvement. It is to do with the mapping. I think it would be fantastic if you can change the map between the current day map as you have it today and a map of london streets of 1939, and maybe also be able to change this to an image of london after the bombings like on the google time-dated satellite view. This would really help understand the data in the context of the date they went of and help link to family living in London at the time. Many thanks for a great resource

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