58° North

A Digital Innovation Journey- Timespan and University of St Andrews


A Modern Pilgrimage Around the Globe
(August 2015-March 2016)

Timespan has been on a voyage of discovery around the globe! The project explored our Northern identity through digital photosphere technology and a virtual tour of the 58°latitude. We reached inaccessible and remote places and embraced old traditions and new technologies. This ambition was achieved in collaboration with our partners from St Andrews University, who helped us connect with people and places without geographical restrictions.

We invited communities and people to join us on our Modern Digital Pilgrimage. We drew a circle around the globe on the 58th latitude and identified six communities that were located close to the sea with similar populations to Helmsdale, in Sutherland. The point where our journey started!

These six settlements shared our Northern identity and we learned how they have been shaped by climate and past events, and revealed shared histories and unique environment and culture. The links below direct you to information, history and images for each of our six latitude places that we explored.

Borhaug, Norway
Lillesand, Norway
Häädemeeste, Estonia
Hoonah, Alaska
Churchill, Canada
Lochinver, Scotland

We travelled to interesting places, shared stories and experiences. This has helped us to understand the main issues that affect our future along the 58th latitude.

Can we rewrite our history?
Can we position ourselves on the southern edge of North?

Sharing the northern world in 360°



Looking North, we position ourselves at the edge of a large part of our globe that lies outwith the common perception. With the aid of 360° photosphere technology we invite you to join us on a tour of these villages around the globe to meet our latitude neighbours. You can do this by downloading the 58° North app or viewing our online exhibit.

Download the North 58° App on your mobile device to view photospheres of our six latitude neighbours. For an extra fun experience slot your mobile into Google Cardboard.

Download the North 58° exhibit where you can travel along the 58th latitude and view photospheres of the other latitude places.

If you like taking photographs then you’ll enjoy creating 360° immersive panoramas using photosphere technology. Photospheres can be created downloading Google Camera (on android) or Google Streetview (on iOS) to your mobile phone. Photospheres can be embedded in Google Maps and websites, shared on social media and viewed with Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift.

The Making and Sharing Photospheres  link provides useful guidance and instructions to help you get started.

The Ultimate Photosphere Challenge (Closed)

The competitors were judged on the following five  photosphere making criteria!

Highest elevation
Coast or harbour
Place where you live
Building interior or exterior

The judging panel included Stuart Low (Landscape Photographer and founder of the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition), Deirdre MacKenna (Visual Arts Programmer), Laura Hamlet (Assynt Geo Park) and Jacquie Aitken, Heritage Officer, Timespan. The top five photospheres were selected by the judges from a total of sixteen entrants.

Ardvreck Castle, Lochinver (David Haines, 1st)
Cloister ruins, Iceland (Skuli Gunnarsson, 2nd)
View from road bridge (Jo Clements, 3rd)
Nature shelter, Lochinver school (Lochinver pupils, 4th)
Lochinver playground (Lochinver school pupils, 5th)

View winners and entrants on Roundme!

1st prize: 60 Degrees North, a brave new book by Malachy Tallach and Google Cardboard
2nd prize: Set of 10 Scottish picture recipe cards and Google Cardboard
3rd-5th prize: Google Cardboard (view your photosphere in stereo vision)

Recording the archaeological landscape

The project explored the use of photospheres as a tool for archaeological survey and recording at three brochs sites in Sutherland. These substantial circular stone Iron Age habitations are found mainly in the Northeast of Scotland. The 360° panoramic views show detail of structure, contextual location and size.

Presentations and Products

A Digital Innovation Journey- Timespan and University of St Andrews
A Digital Innovation Journey- Timespan and University of St Andrews 2
58° North exhibition gallery
Lochinver events gallery
Where the Mirrie Dancers Play: An original play by Lisa Macdonald
End of project evaluation report
Project events gallery











Go to our What’s On page for information on past events related to this project.


4 thoughts on “58° North

  1. I am from Dundee, Scotland. In 1971, in 3rd year I did a geography project on parallel locations. I picked Churchill and Helmsdale, primarily because I lived on Helmsdale Crescent and loved Polar Bears 🙂 . Fast forward to July of that year we emigrated to Canada. Our flight to Winnipeg flew over Churchill, I told my family all about Churchill. One year later my dad got a job in in Fort Churchill…. I lived in and loved Churchill for 20+ years.Then today to read of Timespan…. coincidence or destiny?

    Am so interested to continue following Timespan, seeing all the posts.

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