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A rapid-fi re preview of the day’s sessions—six conference strands summarized in five minutes each.
by susan edwards and tina shah
Digital Mellini, an experimental online collaboration
and publication tool for scholars, was
created in a collaboration between librarians,
scholars, and web technologists at the Getty
and the University of Malaga in Spain.
On the site, scholars compare manuscript
pages of a 17th-century paintings inventory with
transcriptions and translations, make connections
to paintings, and annotate the texts. By sharing
their annotations with others, scholars engage
in critical discussion within the text itself. The
intention is to create a space for scholars to
collaborate online together, and then produce
an online publication from the results of the
by Stanley Smith, Dr. Roy Berns and David Mathews
Beyond the Valley of the RGB: A new system to significantly improve color accuracy when photographing art objects using direct digital-capture methods.
Now that digital capture of our collection objects has become the norm, the “accuracy” of these born-digital images has received a lot of scrutiny, including some attention from past MCN sessions. A novel leveraging of a new image capture method using existing digital camera technology has yielded some very encouraging results that promise to produce a much more color-accurate digital image, thus reducing the need to “correct” the color later.
Room: Hong Kong
Recently, a wave of smartphone and tablet applications for the museum-, heritage- and tourism sector came our way. In The Netherlands almost every cultural hotspot is digitally covered. How can we bring all these initiatives to the right people, at the right moment and on the right location? Sparked is developing a cultural tour, where the physical world really gets in contact with the digital, using QR-codes on location.
Museums have moved past milestones such as placing collections online, applying best practices in metadata, bridging collection and digital asset management, and other approaches to museum information. But few are addressing data curation. Defined as “the active and ongoing management of data through their lifecycle of interest”, data curation recognizes that museum data assets, like collections, require stewardship to be seen as authoritative resources for research and education. Processes for acquiring, creating, using, preserving and making these available must be documented and made transparent or they will degrade, become “orphaned”, and lose value. NSF and others now require data management plans from grantees making this is a new nexus for museums, libraries, and archives. This session brings together experts from academia, scientific research, and LAM professions to describe the impications for museums and tools for addressing the challenge.
People with print disabilities include those who are blind or partially sighted, those who are dyslexic and those who have physical difficulty handling materials or devices. A flexible digital system can meet the needs of all these individuals and will also be highly usable for all users. This session will discuss the needs and preferences of people who have print disabilities for using digital technologies. It will also discuss how flexible systems can be developed to present varied types of museum experiences in accessible ways to these audiences.
by M. James Shyu
New imaging technology has been developed and further deployed into the application of digital archive. One of the new imaging technology is multi-spectral imaging of which each pixel of the image information is represented by not regular R, G and B signals but 36 signals sampling from the visible bandwidth (380nm to 730nm in 10 nm bandwidth). The advantage of multi-spectral imaging is to capture the reflectance characteristics of an object, not the imaging of the object under certain illumination. Therefore, the surface property of the object can be further used in simulating the image under various illumination conditions and avoid the problem of metamerism as well. This study describes the process and results of applying a multi-spectral imaging system to perform digital archive for oriental water color artworks.
Room: Hong Kong
In order to instigate discussions towards a stronger design language for experiences enabled by personal mobile devices, this presentation addresses current mobile design development within the context of public space storytelling design, distributed and/or networked storytelling communications practice, effective personal mobile device use by other disciplines, and a small number of prototypes that support the necessity of experimentation.
by Perian Sully and Ben Brumfield
Most cultural institutions hold a wealth of information within handwritten manuscripts, journals, diaries, catalog cards, and documents. Because these materials are handwritten, the data held within cannot be easily used within the digital world. That information cannot be indexed, put into databases, or shared electronically. Some institutions still have information about their accessions solely within catalog cards, as it is time-consuming and expensive to transcribe. Natural history libraries often have valuable hand-written field notes charting species along with related information about weather, location, and quantity of samples. This information is invaluable for comparing ecological trends between then and now. Diaries from long ago can give us insight into how people lived, and yield important genealogical clues for family members and researchers alike. This session will discuss recent efforts by a number of humanities and science institutions to crowdsource their transcription needs.
Room: Hong Kong
The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is working on a new model for school field trips that will integrate mobile technologies into the school field trip experience that capitalizes on students’ natural behavior, promotes the development of 21stcentury skills, and bridges the gap between classroom and museum learning environments.
The results of this development work is the project, History in Our Hands Project: Field Trips for the 21stCentury Learner,that will facilitate students, teachers, and parent chaperone’s exploration of a new upcoming exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. This mobile application will encourage these visitors to experience the exhibit space through play and investigation as well as to save photos, digital artifacts, and virtual items in a “digital backpack” for access and further activity in the classroom.
by Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Melissa Fournier and Lec Maj
Transforming collection information into digital content for online presentation is challenging on many levels, and even more so in a cross-collection context. This session showcases the technical and policy solutions that allow the Yale Center for British Art to provide broad access to its library, archive and art collections via a single search box.
by John Delaney
Imaging Spectroscopy, the collection of spatially coregistered images in hundreds of contiguous spectral bands, was first developed for remote sensing of the Earth. In this talk we present findings demonstrating the application of imaging spectroscopy in the visual arts to identify and map artists’ pigments and improve the visualization of preparatory sketches. Several novel hyperspectral cameras, operating from the visible to near-infrared (400-2500 nm) have been used to collect diffuse reflectance spectral image cubes from a variety of works of art. Results will be presented illustrating this approach in studying works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Carlo Crivelli, and Giorgione. Unlike hyperspectral cameras designed for remote sensing these are optimized for the low light levels required to safely image vulnerable works of art, including drawings and illuminated manuscripts. These novel types of technical images offer the conservator and art historian new insights into the construction of paintings.
by Julia Forbes and Nicole Cromartie
Room: Hong Kong
Julia Forbes and Nicole Cromartie will discuss the development of ArtClix, the High Museum of Art’s mobile app. Developed in collaboration with Second Story from Portland, OR for the Picasso to Warhol exhibition, ArtClix incorporates social media, community conversation, and visual recognition. The presenters will discuss the year long process – conceptualization, testing, interpretive writing, and implementation as well as provide a demonstration of the app.
This round table session will focus on current models for data backup, disaster recovery, business continuity and the cloud. Several institutions will discuss their approach to backing up the increasing amount of electronic information being created. The participants will also discuss their strategy for disaster recovery and business continuity and if and when a cloud based solution becomes appropriate.
History museums outnumber other types of museums in the United States and yet most often the conversations in the museum technology world revolve around issues and case studies from art and science museums. Art and science museums are leading the way by exposing their collections and experimenting with new ways of interacting with the public (“fill in the case,” crowdsourcing topics, APIs) across digital platforms. History museums, as a group, are behind, and face different challenges when presenting their collections and exhibitions.
How do history-focused cultural heritage institutions look at their collections, exhibitions, and programming in different ways than art and science museums? How must history museums’ digital ventures differ to accommodate their disciplinary perspectives? This roundtable will discuss how history museums approach metadata, context, narrative, and inquiry with respect to their collections, their staff, and their visitors in order to suggest ways to invigorate their digital presence.
by Angela McNew and Lori Phillips
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the world, has reached out to the Wikimedia community in a collaborative effort to share the museum’s collections and research content with a global audience. Working with a Wikipedian-in-Residence, the museum has increased accessibility to its collection through a number of projects that have proved mutually beneficial for both organizations. These projects included an image content donation organized by the Wikipedian-in-Residence in close collaboration with the collections department, a research project with Museum Apprentice Program youth to create Wikipedia articles about notable museum objects, and outreach events with the local Wikimedia community that resulted in article improvement and museum-related images. The process has resulted in a deeper understanding among museum staff about the practical implications of using Wikipedia to share the museum’s content in order to reach a global audience.
Some of the most promising recent implementations of social tagging in museums have been developed by members of Steve: The Museum Social Tagging Project. This interactive roundtable offers a frank evaluation of the potential and pitfalls of tagging as a way to engage audiences and enhance collection information. Join us as we celebrate five years of research and be a part of this community debrief on the joys, sorrows, and prospects for social tagging.The session will be moderated by Holly Witchey, a long-time friend and supporter of Steve, who invites both skeptics and fans of social tagging to join the conversation: bring your examples, questions, ideas, and thoughts about the future of social tagging to the discussion!
This session focuses on design and planning principles underlying initiatives using digital media to widen access to the museum experience for people with disabilities and older people. It will present the principles of Universal Design for products and services and how they apply to the museum context. Understanding and involving users is also a key theme of this session. Using multi-media case studies, it will examine how an organization-wide approach to accessibility leads to better results for users.
by Bruce Wyman
Room: Hong Kong
In this session on cross-platform content and experience development, we'll discuss using HTML5 for exhibit installations, developing for both iPhone and Android, and general insights and experience, some stumbling points, and guidelines for future development. Our goal in the session is to pull back the curtain a bit to how our studio develops for the museum world, our focus on storytelling as a core component, and what we see in the future for our peers inside and outside of museums alike.
by Emily Black
Room: Hong Kong
This session will cover the process and development of web-based applications designed to deliver mobile tour content for museums. The mobile web can allow institutions to leverage web-based technologies which they generally already support. But what are the challenges of sustaining a mobile program at your institution? There are lots of variables to consider from Wi-Fi and hardware support to deployment and training on the use of devices.
Room: International South
Visit the exhibitions and demonstrations of the museum industry's leading vendors.
Exhibit Hall Open 10.00am – 2.00pm / 3.30pm – 7.00pm
Silent Auction and Reception 5.30pm – 7.30pm
The Exhibit Hall opens at noon and closes with a reception, "un-silent" auction and opening event for the MCN ThatCamp Unconference.
Note: this list represents all exhibitors registered at the time of program publication. Additional exhibitors will be present.
• Antenna Audio
• Avid Technology Inc.
• Backstage Library Works
• Capture Integration
• Gallery Systems
• Gixel Art Imaging Systems
• KE Software Inc.
• MCN Taiwan Chapter/Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program
• Piction Digital Image Systems
• Selago Design, Inc.
• Tessitura Network
• TourSphere, LLC
by Scott Sayre
Room: Hong Kong
The large scren mobiile presentation format of the iPad presents new opportunities for museum tour guides to enhance group tours with a wide range of rich media. This session describes the best practices and apps indentified in a 6 month research project at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Location: Max Lager's, 320 Peachtree Street Northeast, (404) 525-4400, maxlagers.com
The Unluncheon, Unmeeting will take place on Friday, 11/18, from 12:45 to 2:00 PM in a private room at Max Lager's, a five-minute walk from the hotel. All MCN attendees--SIG members and the newly curious--are welcome. Each SIG will have a table for free-flowing discussion, and table-hopping will enable you to join the conversation with more than one just one SIG.
The lunch will cost $15 per person. Payment will need to be made in advance at the MCN registration desk before attending the luncheon.
by Charles Moad and Ed Bachta
In 2007 the Indianapolis Museum of Art launched Dashboard (http://dashboard.imamuseum.org), a statistics website which gives online visitors a transparent view into and ability to track institutionally important metrics. After living with the system for more than three years, this paper will offer a reflective look at the lessons learned from the vantage points of the online visitor and museum staff who are interacting with the software. Additionally, plans for the advancement of the Dashboard software will be presented along with how they address many of the usability issues that have been experienced. Some of these enhancements include allowing users to create personalized dashboards based on their interests, providing a standard interface for including automatic statistics from external systems (e.g. CIS, DAM, analytics, attendance counters), and allowing statistics to be embedded and shared on other websites.
Cultural institutions on university campuses are not immune to shrinking budget. Organizations within universities are realizing the benefits of collaborative projects. The School of Library and Information Science, Mc Kissick Museum and the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of South Carolina, have partnered with Arius 3D to create the USC/Arius 3D Imaging Centre. The Centre generates multi-dimensional scans of cultural objects for online collections.
Even with constrained budgets, demands and expectations for online access to collection images continue to increase. Because of its low cost, statistics tracking features, and large built-in audience, the photo-sharing website Flickr has become a popular way for many institutions to provide online access to collections. Additionally, this session will also discuss a new Flickr upload tool, Sammu, that was developed specifically for museums. Until the release of this tool, short of cutting and pasting or using a digital asset management system, there have been few ways to embed collection tombstone information from collection management systems into the metadata fields Flickr displays the information within. This session will explore the benefits and lessons learned from using Flickr as a collections online portal.
by Rob Lancefield, Stanley Smith and Roger Howard
Those of us who manage digital assets in museums often share knowledge with one another. We also can learn from digital asset management (DAM) practice in the corporate world. For-profit entities often manage huge numbers of assets in different contexts of use, institutional culture, and more. This session will enable us to juxtapose our respective practices. What do we do differently in museums, and why? What, if anything, might we consider doing in new ways? After opening comments from the moderator, the roundtable will feature a speaker whose digital asset management experience has spanned the not-for-profit and for-profit worlds; a presenter responsible for DAM in a prominent corporate setting; comparative thoughts from a museum speaker; and plenty of time for your own comments and questions.
Room: Hong Kong
A panel presentation of mobile strategies at a range of institutions large and small, and how it connects departments and initiatives to create "a whole greater than the sum of its parts." In these wide-ranging discussions, conversants will present the key principles for mobile strategy and case studies of strategic mobile implementations in a range of organizations:
1. Multi-organizational institutions, represented by the Smithsonian Institution & Balboa Park
2. Art museums, represented by MoMA and the Indianapolis Museum of Art
3. Science-based museums, represented by the Powerhouse Museum (in absentia) and the Museum of Life and Science, Durham NC
4. History-based museums, represented by the Minnesota Historical Society
by Neal Stimler
Museum technologists have successfully supported the creation and delivery of content produced by curators, educators and librarians. However, many museum administrators and boards have yet to recognize the importance of scholarly study of their own institutions in the context of an evolving digital society. The support of digital humanities research in the academic and library communities over the last several years has not yet been adopted to the same degree in museums.
Pairing technology and evaluation is crucial to ensuring that we infuse the visitor voice into our work. While a lot of attention is being paid to existing analytics and metrics online to help us better understand our virtual visitors, what do we really learn from those tools? How can we put them to use to help us dig deeper, see more clearly, and truly progress our work with a visitor focus? What other methods might help us learn more, in real time and over time, about visitors', audiences', and communities' habits, preferences, interests, and behaviors-- on and offline?
16th–19th November 2011