--Mlane 12:49, 4 August 2011 (UTC)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia My name is Mark Lane; I am an American living in Argentan, France (L'Orne, Basse Normandy) with an interest in rural French landscape history.
Earlier I walked the Mt.St.Michel and St.Jacques pilgrimage trails, and I was impressed by the rich, deep history of the countryside starting with the stone calvaires on the crossroads. I think more foreign travelers, and French as well, would appreciate the land more and help preserve it if they understood what they saw.
My plan is to summarize and translate the numerous local journal articles found in libraries and archives into user friendly English. Subjects range through archeology, prehistory, history, folklore, architecture, local traditions and natural science. These articles will be tailored for the new technologies like Iphones.
Wikipedia appears to be the universal source used by GPS enabled smartphones. This technology will continue to evolve into ever more useful portable guides. Emerging technology such as augmented reality must be considered when planning article design.
I am a former, graphic designer, illustrator and science and history museum director. I plan to use this experience to create articles that communicate to the curious user on the ground at the site that the article is about, as well as the web based reader. Museums start with the visitor's curiosity about an object in order to explore a subject in more depth. When appropriate, the geographical site itself would act as the object to introduce the subject to explore, and thus relate to the user's experience. This is contrary to the more common academic approach which begins with the scholar's point of intellectual interest in mind.
I currently teach English classes here in the region, and plan to ask for adult student volunteers. These volunteers would translate local knowledge found in regional journals into useful articles. Former academic contacts in the US (mostly historians), as well as those I've met here in Normandy (archeologists and historians), have agreed to guide and vet the work.
My French constantly improves but is not adequate to translate from English. I formerly wrote a travel column for an American newspaper, so I feel confident to translate French into English with the help of several dictionaries.
I very much enjoy taking photographs and photo-shopping them into resembling 1920's travel posters and 19 century oil paintings sold to Grand Tour travelers. The French countryside is perfect for recalling these old styles. So many of the images will appear as real paintings but are really photo-based. I will provide examples:--Mlane 12:49, 4 August 2011 (UTC)