iSee Gateshead is cool, or rather will be cool once they’ve fixed a wee problem. It’s a huge collection of old pictures of Gateshead running from some time in the 19th century up to the 1990s. You can search by various categories, and where it’s known, there are details of when each picture was taken.
The site is run by Gateshead Libraries with National Lottery funding. Nice to see my money going into something that’s useful to me.
However, there’s a bit of a problem with the site. Some of the pages I looked at were fine, but clicking through to the “Structures” category proved to be a bad move. Neither Firefox nor Internet Explorer wanted to know, really. Now my PC isn’t all that powerful by current standards, but it’s never had trouble with a page of thumbnail images before. And it’s certainly never had to use 2 gigabytes of virtual memory to render a page before. From the part of the page I managed to look at, I could see two problems:
- There were well over 200 pictures on the page. I’ve no idea how many, as I couldn’t get to the bottom of the page. Oddly, some other categories were nicely paged, with only about 20 pictures
- The “thumbnail” images weren’t. They were the originals, resized by the browser. So instead of being around 10k or so each, a typical thumbnail was over 300k. Some might have been bigger.
The site has been generated by a specialist application called TriO. I can only assume that someone at Gateshead didn’t tell it what to do correctly. I’m going to contact the relevant department and ask them to fix it.
In the meantime, it’s worth a look. But if you’re looking under S, don’t click on “Structures”….