Cultural heritage and new media

A fascinating few hours it was. A pretty good workshop. Six hours spent learning new things, engaging with people.

I’m just going to quickly talk about interesting concepts that I came across today.

The project with the communities addressing to divert the energy of graffitiying youth towards worthy causes like the safe keep of culturally rich monuments through the digital capture in 3D using Google cardboard. Yes Google cardboard. It is a sort of a google that has 3D lenses on it. It is a cheaper version of something like a Demetrius Lacet did a great job presenting this Brazilian project, even though it was the very first time he did a presentation in English.

1405294298036 Google Cardboard Main Image

Trove is something I am familiar with. I have earlier associated it only with copy cataloguing. A tool for the techies in libraries. Apparently it is more than that. It is a collection of collections, it is a community, and it is a platform. Troveites, the user community of trove, actually drives it and makes quite a considerable number of edits to make it more accurate. It’s the society driven platform operated for the society. Tim Sherrat virtually presented this session.

Then there was the presentation on 3D filming by Stuart Bender. It was brought on from the angle of perseveration of historically valuable heritage before we lose them. And I was personally fascinated with it because it was centred on the Maldives. Got a glimpse into how 3D imagery is created and yes looking at that short clip of him on one of the beaches of Maldives on the big screen in the HIVE was a bonus. It was like as if I could touch the sand, feel the breeze, and really see the waves on the blue ocean. Pretty good. Stuart presented it as a “window on the world”. And there was some talk about anagif or anajig or something like that. I will need to look that up. And also wiggle 3Ds. Things to do later.

This is just a Wiggle 3D gif I googled

Moving on – Pauline presented a digital story on her project on the motorsport community. The way she presented it was fascinating and shows a great way of setting up virtual archives. The 3D visualisations using near mapping technology was great. And the small handles on things that could be further explored. Like the book and the album on the table on that screen. Pretty amazing stuff that can be done. And I am sure it would require pretty hefty storage too.

Then there was the nDIVE presentation by Torsten. To be honest I was a bit lost and overly impressed with the magnitude of what was going on there. I was lost because I am a dumbo when it comes to such technology. But the idea of using that visualisation technology to enhance training, knowledge, and awareness is something that I can understand and believe is a worthy initiative. The most important thing I took from that session though was “the fear of dying as an important learning experience in a simulation”. It was also about immersive virtual environment, Oculus, including gaming to get youth engagement, gamification, etc

And the presentation by Jeff Harris from SciTech was pretty amazing. It was all things planetarium. I am already smitted by SciTech after idhu’s excited explanation about his school visit to SciTech. So this was a tiny glimpse into what they have going there. The immersive technology was a buzz word. And the most fascinating thing I learned was the MARS1 (I think that was what it was called) project. What I heard was it is a one way journey to the Mars. To live there forever sort of because there is no way to come back to Earth. At least it hasn’t been discovered yet. So there is this whole project that is trying to identify 2 people from WA (or was it Australia?) to send on this world wide project which selecting people from all over. But the point is to try and select two compatible individuals so that they can be comfortable on their isolating journey living on Mars in their tiny confinement and absence of avenues of entertainment. Apparently 200,000 people applied for this one way trip. Shortlisting is going on it seems, down to 200 or something.

And now on to digital humanities by Paul Arthur. This is the first time I am hearing about “digital humanities” and it is a fascinating concept. For now, I still haven’t’ got my head around to understand what it really means. Nonetheless, I like the sound of it. Something I am seriously going to pursue further. Paul is the president of the Australasian Association of Digital Humanities. I made a mental note of joining that Association. And there is also the “Alliance of Digital Humanities” Also of interest is the eResearch Australia conference; the next one coming up in October in Melbourne (was it?). Anyway, I will not be able to make to an October event. That’s too close. But there is a conference in Sydney next year, June 29 to July 3. I want to attend even if not presenting a paper. Something to follow-up. It is Digital Humanities Conference. Apparently it has been an annual occurrence for 25 years and this is the first time it is being hosted in Australia. Other notes I made from his session includes language individuation, methodological commons, defining digital humanities, crowd participation & crowd sources (this was in relevance to Trove), etc.

And there was Ali Mozaffari’s session on cloud architecture for cultural heritage management. I believe a practical project that we can replicate for our community too. This particular one is in the Iranian context, working on heritage in Iran in the lens of contemporary Muslim society – things like understanding meaning od place and identity.

And there was another session which wasn’t presented. But we got a brief glimpse of the slides. It was about “city of memories” dealing with heritage management and computing. From the looks of it, it looked like a fun and practical project.

And then the more hands-on part were the workshops. I would have loved to join Stuart’s 3D filming workshop. It fascinates me as I am a wanna-be-photographer and love understanding the technical details behind 3D filming. More so because he was talking about Maldives as one of his projects. But There was also another parallel workshop on creating content for the HIVE presented by Joshua. I didn’t even consider it. Not because I didn’t like it. Only because I didn’t think it would be that relevant to me. But as it turns out, it is relevant. Another participant who joined the workshop briefed me how it will make a visually appeasing presentation of her or even my research findings. I guess something I can explore later.

The parallel workshop that I ended up joining was the “Setting up a Library Makerspace” workshop. I had no idea what a makerspace was. But it’s context in the library context inherently made me want to go to it and made it relevant to me. Also Kerry Miller, the presenter happened to be a reviewer for my candidacy proposal. So I assumed, whatever she had to say about libraries would be relevant to my research.

It was a well spent hour. I had a glimpse into changing landscape of library as a communal space on the campus. It was all about 3D printing, building play stud, 3D imaging, anything and everything that means a group of people collaborating in making things. We had things like printed 3D cats, printed 3D angry bird, and all that nitty gritty stuff that goes into making this prints. Also learned about RasperyPi and BrickPi and the space as a do-be-do-be-do space. And those illusory images that pulled out of the paper and popped onto the iPad screen was fascinating. In my excitement I didn’t make a note of the technical term that was used for it. I guess something I have to follow-up.

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