Museums and the Web

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Balance of Power: Hydroelectric Development in Southeastern British Columbia

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History with the Virtual Museum of Canada
Popgun Media

The Balance of Power uses a dynamic map, timelines and interactive exercises to explore the development and impact of hydropower in Southeastern British Columbia. The site examines the subsequent influence of hydroelectric development on the communities, ecology, landscape and industrial growth within this region.

The dynamic mapping feature provides a view of the region both pre and post development that shows the amount of impact some of the hydroelectric dams have had on the landscape.  The maps, divided into separate regions, are navigable through individual timelines.  As well, images, both contemporary and historical, also provide points of interest for comparing the landscape and the society during the same time periods.Links on each map provide more content for background information on the communities, the industries and the social groups that live in each region.

An interactive exercise presents a situation and lists the pros and cons of large scale hydroelectric based on different points of view.  This allows the visitor to envision the multiple points of view that are presented within the exhibit.


The Balance of Power exhibit combines information from throughout the region to illustrate the history of hydroelectric development and the impact of the choices made in the past and the outcomes that have resulted.  By providing both overall and detailed views of this portion of history, the stories of the landscape are brought into the present.  Combining images, artifacts and documents from various historical organizations throughout the region has created an exhibit that provides the context for the decisions of the past and the influence on the present.  The subject matter of this exhibit is timely as new demands are placed on our natural resources it is important to have an understanding of the choices made in the past.

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