Category Archives: Cultural heritage

Workshop: 3D cultural heritage and landscape

Digital Classics Workshop
3D approaches to cultural heritage and landscape

Thursday, September 24
Institute of Classical Studies
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

The Institute of Classical Studies is offering a training workshop for postgraduate students and researchers on the use of 3D approaches in the study of cultural heritage artefacts and landscapes. The workshop will offer a basic introduction to the principles behind 3D imaging, modelling and representation of terrain and elevation, and how these can be used in research as well as visualisation. It will also give participants hands-on experience using simple and free software packages to produce complete 3D models and visualisations, with methods easily transferable to their own research.

No previous digital experience is required, but participants should bring a laptop and a digital camera or smartphone and be prepared to install some free software in advance of the workshop. This workshop has been made possible by the generous support of the LAHP and AHRC, and staff from KCL.

Registration is free.
To book a place on the workshop, please contact Valerie James (valerie.james@sas.ac.uk)

Digital Codex Mendoza online

Ernesto Miranda, a former student on the MA in Digital Humanities here at DDH, has just published a digital edition of the Codex Mendoza, a sixteenth-century manuscript that is now one of our most important sources for pre-Hispanic culture in Mexico. The project began life as an assignment for one of his MA modules, ‘Material Culture of the Book’, for which students had to plan how they would digitise a book or set of books. After graduating, Ernesto took his plan to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, University of California Press, and King’s College London, and convinced them all to help him actually do it.

The edition is now freely available both online and as an app on the iTunes store, and has already been featured in the New York Times (among others). It allows you not only to view the pages of this famous and fascinating manuscript, but also to see in situ transcriptions, translations and supplementary material. See, for instance, this page on daily life (drag your mouse over the image to see the translation), or this one with annotations on territorial expansion.

Part of the project press-release is quoted below which gives some more background to the project. But now go, explore and enjoy!

The digital resource was created in collaboration with Bodleiain Library, Oxford, (where it has been held since 1659), King’s College London and University of California Press. It was developed in 2014, under the curatorial direction of Frances Berdan and Baltazar Brito.

The Codex Mendoza was created under the orders of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza in 1542 to evoke an economic, political, and social panorama of the recently conquered lands. It has 72 illustrated pages glossed in Nahuatl, and 63 correspondent pages with Spanish glosses.

The Digital Codex Mendoza is part of INAH’s effort to highlight the importance of Mexican Codices for national history. This effort began in September, 2014, with the opening of the unprecedented exhibition, Códices de México, Memorias y Saberes, where 44 codices were shown for the first time to the general public. Codices are extremely sensitive documents in terms of preservation, so very few people have access to them. This is why the exhibition and the digital edition of codices held outside Mexico, such as Digital Codex Mendoza, are so important.

This effort is the first of a series that will virtually repatriate essential Mexican documents. It serves as a milestone regarding academic digital editions in Mexico and Latin America. Through this work the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), or National Institute of Anthropology and History, demonstrates the broad-based utility of this type of edition and the need to seek new forms of representation for such complex systems of knowledge. At the same time, the effort furthers the permanent calling of the INAH to study, preserve, and spread awareness of the cultural patrimony of the Mexican people, and create new ways of engagement with cultural heritage.

Linking Ancient People, Places, Objects and Texts

Linking Ancient People, Places, Objects and Texts
a round table discussion
Gabriel Bodard (KCL), Daniel Pett (British Museum), Humphrey Southall (Portsmouth), Charlotte Tupman (KCL); with response by Eleanor Robson (UCL)

18:00, Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Anatomy Museum, Strand Building 6th Floor
(http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/campuses/download/KBLevel6forweb.pdf)
King’s College London, Strand London WC2R 2LS

As classicists and ancient historians have become increasingly reliant on large online research tools over recent years, it has become ever more imperative to find ways of integrating those tools. Linked Open Data (LOD) has the potential to leverage both the connectivity, accessibility and universal standards of the Web, and the power, structure and semantics of relational data. This potential is being used by several scholars and projects in the area of ancient world and historical studies. The SNAP:DRGN project (snapdrgn.net) is using LOD to bring together many technically varied databases and authorities lists of ancient persons into a single virtual authority file; the Pleiades gazetteer and service projects such as Pelagios and PastPlace are creating open vocabularies for historical places and networks of references to them. Museums and other heritage institutions are at the forefront of work to encode semantic archaeological and material culture data, and projects such as Sharing Ancient Wisdoms (ancientwisdoms.ac.uk) and the Homer Multitext (homermultitext.org) are developing citation protocols and an ontology for relating texts with variants, translations and influences.

The panel will introduce some of these key projects and concepts, and then the audience will be invited to participate in open discussion of the issues and potentials of Linked Ancient World Data.

DH2014: ontology for 3D visualisation poster

DH_poster_valeria_LR

The poster was displayed at the first poster session of DH2014 on July the 10th. It gave me the chance to meet many scholars interested in my research and to discuss the project with them. I received very good feedback, and started useful dialogues that might turn into future collaborations with University of Mainz, UCLA and EPFL.

This project was presented as a paper at the last CAA conference in Paris.

 

VIRTUAL RESTORATION AND RECONSTRUCTION in a London Charter Framework

V-MusT UK Summer School

Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, 10-20 September 2012

The UK Virtual Heritage School explores the theory and best practice in heritage visualisation. The school is offered by the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, UK and is led by King’s Visualisation Lab (KVL), which specialises in the creation of digital visualisations for historical research, archaeology and cultural heritage. KVL is known for its leadership in establishing and promoting international standards for such work, most notably through the London Charter for the Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage. The School syllabus is guided by the principles of this charter. Continue reading VIRTUAL RESTORATION AND RECONSTRUCTION in a London Charter Framework

Seminar: the Role of Digital Humanities in a Natural Disaster

Screen Shot 2012 05 24 at 15 11 40

As part of the New Directions in the Digital Humanities series this week we had a very inspiring presentation from Dr Paul Millar, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English, Cinema and Digital Humanities, the University of Canterbury (NZ).

The talk focused on the CEISMIC project, with which Millar and his team intended to ‘crowdsource’ a digital resource to preserve the record of the earthquakes’ impacts, document the long-term process of recovery, and discover virtual solutions to issues of profound heritage loss. Continue reading Seminar: the Role of Digital Humanities in a Natural Disaster

Museums on the Web 2011

At the end of this year’s Museums on the Web conference at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) we were asked what our “key takeaways” from the day were. The presentations and discussions covered a wide range of interesting topics but I was most impressed with the work going on in the area of public engagement with creating and using digital resources; and the emphasis of the importance of user-centred design processes in enabling this.

365.162: Imperial War Museum

Mark O’Neill from the Government Data Service opened proceedings with a keynote speech highighting the challenges of improving user experience for the use of digital resources; particularly important given the commitment to “digital by default” for government services.

An interesting comparison was suggested: how are museums different from Ikea? Comparing a search across the Ikea website and a museum website (which will remain namless!) for an object, “vase” it was clear which one of these had a more seamless user experience: the commercial website was designed around the needs of users to easily achieve their goals (in this instance find a vase for sale) whilst the museum website lagged somewhat behind, its interface designed around the institution’s own internal language, not welcoming outsiders.

Subsequent speakers gave presentations on participatory projects initiated by their institutions. The Pallant House Gallery‘s  Outside In project provides a platform for artists with disabilities to display their work, uploading images of it via a web interface developed in an iterative manner during workshops with the artists themselves. The next stage is to develop a mobile app which removes further boundaries to involvement: direct upload via mobile involves fewer cognitive steps as images can be selected directly from the device that created them.

Tom Grinsted from the Imperial War Museum and Claire Ross from UCL department of Digital Humanities described an IWM project in development to make use of visitors’ commentaries of museum objects: Social Interpretation — bringing the levels of engagement and interaction that users experience with social media to the museum environment. The project is being run using an agile methodology at all stages: design, development and management to ensure that the outputs are produced iteratively and thoroughly tested with users at every stage. The project aims to develop interfaces to allow visitors to add their commentaries and interpretations via kiosk in the museum and web and mobile outside.

Another exciting participatory project run by the IWM is Lives of the Great War: using public involvement to recreate the stories behind those who served and died in the First World War. It aims to support this by providing direct access to the various information resources, currently dispersed across the web, some behind paywalls. It is also hoped that the data generated will be released under a “CC0” licence (the most permissive Creative Commons licence) and be archived permanently.

Interestingly, the IWM were shown to be pioneers in crowdsourcing: their earliest request for objects and memorabilia from the Great War took part at the war’s end in the form of a leaflet included with ration books!

Issues surrounding crowdsourcing received attention: namely questions of moderation of content and authority. Some basic moderation can be handled technically (e.g. via filters to remove swearing) but the community itself can also be a useful moderation tool (as it is currently on the Guardian website). Data release under Creative Commons licences (particularly “CC0”) can be more problematic in some areas than others, e.g. the performing arts.

Other presentations covered some very interesting areas I haven’t discussed here, including planning and measuring your digital strategy, refining your metadata and demonstrations of some very innovative software; it will be worth checking the MCG website for links to the presentation slides.

Overall I was impressed with the level of innovation — and collaboration —  in the sector; something I’m sure the digital humanities as a closely related area could learn from and share in.

Hafed Walda, media presence

The World Today 31/10/2011 06:05–07:00
7 days left to listen

Live news and current affairs, business and sport from around the world.

An Interview about the Treasure of Benghazi.

Here is the link tp the BBC i Player: Start 0:48:45

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00ldwhs

Treasure of Benghazi Stolen in One of the Biggest Heists in …

Continue reading Hafed Walda, media presence

Reintegrating the Human(ities): Reflections on Cultural Heritage and the Semantic Web at the British Museum

I spent most of yesterday attending a workday on Cultural Heritage and the Semantic Web at the British Museum. Unfortunately I had to miss the final two papers and the closing panel, so I’m not in a position to offer an overall summary. But certain themes and common notes kept arising in each of the six talks I did manage to catch — and these are worth commenting on in themselves, because they mark, to my mind, a new (and, I think, messier and more interesting) direction for the Semantic Web than that most frequently outlined in the past.

Continue reading Reintegrating the Human(ities): Reflections on Cultural Heritage and the Semantic Web at the British Museum