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Getting Started

Building History is designed such that anyone who knows enough about computers to surf the web and send an email can contribute to the project.


1 Signing up
2 Finding the town
3 Adding roads & buildings
4 Modifying articles
     The edit page
     Page History
     Renaming / Moving Articles
     Watching Pages

Signing up

To contribute data to Building History you'll first need to create an account.

Doing so is free and takes only a few minutes - all you need is a valid email address.

Click here to watch a 30 second video and here to create an account.

You will be asked to choose a unique user name, password and give your email address. An email will be sent to you upon successful completion. You will need to click the link in the email in order to activate your account.

Once you've signed up, activated your account and have logged in you can start adding information.

Finding the town

To find a town that you want to start adding/editing data for use the browse link or search box at the top right hand corner of the page.

If you can't find the town in question then contact us, as it may need to be added. The list of towns in the database came originally from Geonames and whilst quite complete for some counties it isn't for others.

Adding roads & buildings

To add a road or building click the relevant link on town and road pages.

If no list of buildings is shown on a road page then it might be because another user has disabled it. This is done when a road has been renamed and you are not looking at the article for the road's latest name. To re-enable it you will need to edit the page (see below) and remove any [[nobuildings]] tags.

Modifying articles

At the top of each page are a row of links:

Edit | History | Move | Watch | Account | Logout

On pages where the content cannot be modified several items will be grayed out and not be clickable. Some pages cannot be edited by anyone other than the administrator, others are only available to moderators (such as the help pages).

  • Edit - takes you to a form where the article's content can be modified
  • History - shows you a page where you can see old versions of the article
  • Move - lets you change the article's name and status
  • Watch - adds the article to your watchlist, so you can see when others update it
  • Account - takes you to a page where you can review your settings
  • Logout - logs you out of Building History. If you share a computer with others you should make sure you click this when finishing

    The edit page

    When you click Edit on an article page and you are logged in you will be shown a page that lets you edit the contents of the article.

    Along the top of the page are a row of icons. Below this is a large text entry box, which shows the contents of the page. Below this is a summary line, which you should use to say briefly what you have changed.

    Pages are written in plain text, with various special tags that tell the server how to format the page. Details of these tags can be found in the Formatting Guide. You can generate/insert many of the tags using the row of icons at the top of the edit page. At the time of writing, the icons available are as follows:

    When you click an icon it will either insert a formatting tag or perform another function. If you select text first then those that insert tags will insert it around your selection. If no text is selected then an empty tag will be inserted at the cursor position.

    The list of current icons, their function and information follows:

          Function       Information       Corresponding Tag(s)      
    BoldMake the selected text bold''' '''
    ItalicMake the selected text italic'' ''
    Center AlignCenter align the selected text[[center]] [[/center]]
    Indent TextIndents the selected text by 10 pixels[[indent:10]] [[/indent]]
    Heading 1Makes the selected text into a level 1 section heading== ==
    Heading 2Makes the selected text into a level 2 section heading=== ===
    Heading 3Makes the selected text into a level 3 section heading==== ====
    Heading 4Makes the selected text into a level 4 section heading===== =====
    Table of ContentsInserts a table of contents at the cursor position[[toc]]
    Red HighlightChanges the colour of the selected text to red[[colour:red]] [[/colour]]
    Green HighlightChanges the colour of the selected text to greeb[[colour:green]] [[/colour]]
    Blue HighlightChanges the colour of the selected text to blue[[colour:blue]] [[/colour]]
    Bullet ListMakes the line part of a bulleted list*
    CodeMakes the selected text fixed width[[code]] [[/code]]
    SuperscriptMakes the selected text superscript[[superscript]] [[/superscript]]
    SubscriptMakes the selected text subscript[[subscript]] [[/subscript]]
    Town LinkMakes the selected town name a link[[TC| ]]
    Road ListInserts the list of roads at the cursor position (town pages only)[[roads]]
    Road LinkMakes the selected road name a link[[RC| ]]
    Former Road LinkMakes the selected former road name a link[[RF| ]]
    Building ListInserts the list of buildings at the cursor position (road pages only)[[buildings]]
    Hide Building ListHides the building list (road pages only)[[nobuildings]]
    Building LinkMakes the selected building name a link[[BC| ]]
    Former Building LinkMakes the selected former building name a link[[BF| ]]
    External LinkMakes the selected external URL a link[ ]
    Internal LinkMakes the selected internal URL a link[[ ]]
    Wikipedia LinkMakes the selected wikipedia article name a link[[[ ]]]
    ReferenceMakes the selected text a reference[[ref]] [[/ref]]
    ImageOpens a popup that generates image tags from Flickr URLs
    Google MapOpens a dialog that prompts for a Google Maps URL, then generates a tag for it
    Google StreetviewOpens a dialog that prompts for Google Streetview HTML, then generates a tag for it
    HelpOpens the formatting guide in a new window

    Page History

    Every time a change is made to a page a copy of it is stored. This means that changes can be reviewed and reversed if required.

    To view the history of a page click the History link at the top right hand corner of the page.

    You will be given shown a list with one line per change.

    Renaming / Moving Articles

    The move link at the top right hand corner of an article allows you to modify various options pertaining to it:

  • The road/building's name
  • The road/building's status (current / former / unknown)
  • The building's road

    Extreme care should be taken when using this feature, as changing any of these variables will affect other pages that currently link to it.

    Watching Pages

    If you click the Watch link at the top right hand corner or an article then it will be added to your watch list. This allows you to monitor all changes that are made to the page.
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