The earthquake of 22 February 2011 was a tragic event that will forever mark a point in time for Cantabrians and all of New Zealand. The impact upon the families directly affected by the loss of life and the loss of everything else is one, that for those of us unnafected, can not begin to imagine. The immediate and everlasting change that the shaking ground has wrought on the architectural heritage of Christchurch is a social history marker. And while many are suffering, the events of 22 February and its aftermath are also an opportunity in time to record the impact and change to the fabric of an entire city for all to see.
A tool like History Pin should be used by all the people in Christchurch. I am suggesting that every single home owner, tennant, property owner and business owner (when they are allowed into the restricted cordon) photograph their building as it is today, as it will become over the coming weeks and months; as services are replaced, repaired and life returns to normal and finally when the repairs to each building are completed, each stage of this healing process be recorded in photographs. These photographs should be posted to History Pin and placed in the appropriate Google Maps Street view orientation. Doing this, future generations will be able to see what Christchurch was before the quake, what it is currently and what it will become. It will provide a slice through time for every suburb so that we, who were not affected, can see the true scale of this devastating quake on ordinary people.
From this terrible event it is possible for Christchurch to record the total impact on each suburb, each street corner, each home without prejudice and to document the transition back to normality. If everyone does this simple recording task, with their own home or place of work, a complete record in images of the destruction and rebuilding of Christchurch can be recorded. The web2.0 tools such as Google Maps and History Pin offer us the opportunity to record change as never before. From this bleak moment in time there is the opportunity for clarity, one I think that is too important to ignore.