Historical Marker Database


The Historical Marker Database (HMdb.org) is an online database that documents locations of numerous historical markers in the United States as well as other countries. The database was launched in 2006 by computer programmer J. J. Prats.[1]

The HMdb served as the basis for the database for the online augmented reality game Ingress, which was then later repurposed for Pokémon Go.[2]: 977 

The HMdb was launched in 2006 with 179 markers that Prats had personally documented. By 2015 the site listed more than 74,000 markers.[3] In addition to listing markers in the United States, the site also lists some markers from more than 40 other countries.[3] By the start of 2018, the site documented more than 100,000 markers.[4]

The HMdb has been described as "crowdsourced",[2]: 977  and according to the site's self-description, "Anyone can add new markers to the database and update existing marker pages with new photographs, links, information and commentary."[5]

The HMdb displays historical event locations using Google Maps.[6]

Artist Paul Druecke described the HMdb as "a different sort of catalogue", one that "allows geeks like me to explore historical plaques throughout the United States."[7]: 377  Druecke did a series of charcoal drawings depicting official state-sponsored plaques.[7]

In 2011, Silvio Lacetti argued that the HMdb "offers a wonderful opportunity" for history teachers to instill interest in students by being "a Columbus leading his or her young crew on journeys of local historical discovery", enabling them "to search, discover and learn" through historical markers.[8]

Bibliography (additional)Edit

  • Chung, Yun Shun Susie (September 2017). "Collections of Historical Markers and Signage and Public Programming Online at Public History Institutions Such as Museums and Archives". Collections. 13 (3–4): 243–263. doi:10.1177/155019061701303-404. ISSN 1550-1906.


  1. ^ Ural, Susannah J. (April 2011). "Ural on URLs: The Historical Marker Database". Civil War Times. 50 (2): 71. ISSN 0009-8094. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b Judge, Elizabeth F.; Brown, Tenille E. (2017). "Pokémorials: Placing Norms in Augmented Reality". U.B.C. Law Review. 50 (4): 971–1016.
  3. ^ a b Stephens, Steve (17 July 2015). "Website locates wide range of historical markers". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ Baram, Uzi (27 September 2019). "In an Age of Heritage Signs, Encouraging Archaeological Sites to be Cosmopolitan Canopies". Present Pasts. 9 (1): 1–8. doi:10.5334/pp.79.
  5. ^ HMdb.org. "About the Historical Marker Database". www.hmdb.org. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  6. ^ Díaz-Kommonen, L.; Timonen, A.; Reunanen, M. (2007). "ImaNote: a Zoomable Web-Based Multi-User Image Viewing and Annotation Tool". Eurographics. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b Douberley, Amanda; Druecke, Paul (2016). "The Memory Frame: Set in Stone, a Dialogue". In Knight, Cher Krause; Senie, Harriet F. (eds.). A Companion to Public Art. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 376–385. doi:10.1002/9781118475331.ch17. ISBN 9781118475331.
  8. ^ Laccetti, Silvio (2 July 2011). "Opinion: Historical Marker Database website provides fun way to record N.J. landmarks". The Times (Trenton). Retrieved 10 October 2019.

External linksEdit

  • HMdb.org (About page)