Virtual Museums


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Virtual Museums

  1. 1. VIRTUAL MUSEUMS Click for Admission
  2. 2. What are Virtual Museums? <ul><li>The concept of a virtual museum is that access to museum environments and exhibitions are accessible online. </li></ul><ul><li>Museum objects and collections are translated into the virtual realm. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual museums exist virtually in CyberSpace. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A virtual museum is a collection of electronic artifacts and information resources - virtually anything which can be digitized,” (Mckenzie, 1995). </li></ul><ul><li>Paintings, drawings, photographs, diagrams, graphs, recordings, video segments, newspaper articles, transcripts of interviews, numerical databases are all examples of content that may be displayed and saved on the virtual museum's file server (Mckenzie, 1995). </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ A collection of digitally recorded images, sound files, text documents, and other data of historical, scientific, or cultural interest that are accessed through electronic media,” (Virtual Museum, in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual museum is not always a virtual exhibition; most virtual museums rely upon permanent collections versus traveling or special exhibitions. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation does not include collections of representations of dispersed digital objects, such as Artstor or ArtServe in its definition of Virtual Museum. </li></ul>What are Virtual Museums? (cont’d)
  4. 4. Virtual Museums: A History <ul><li>In its most basic sense, the virtual museum was born from museums that began listing information digitally or virtually. </li></ul><ul><li>What we would consider a ‘basic’ webpage now, with images attached to links and detailed information listings, is the origin of the virtual museum. </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning around 1993-1994, early collections from museums began listing within Mosaic, the first graphical browser (Virtual Museum, in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these early collection listing sites were simple pages, connected through hyperlinks to images, citations and other scholarly information. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the first was EXPO (1993), an online guide to artifacts from the Vatican Library that were on display at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (Mckenzie, 1995). </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>In 1994, WebMuseum was created by a computer scientist from École Polytechnique in Paris was an exhibition of artworks by Western painters which grew to incorporate reproductions of paintings, background text, and musical selections submitted by a large number of contributors (Virtual Museum, in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>By 1995, Unisys & National Science Learning Network funded projects launching four science museums entirely virtually. Also, by this time one could visit the Smithsonian, Dallas Museum of art & the Louvre, digitally (Mckenzie, 1995). </li></ul><ul><li>Google Art Project (2011) an online compilation of high-resolution images of artworks from galleries worldwide, as well as a virtual tour of the galleries such as Tate Gallery, London; the MoMa of NY, NY; and the Uffizi, Florence. </li></ul><ul><li>The modern day Virtual Museum as exemplified through Google Art project and more, has developed spatial translations and object representations virtually. </li></ul>Virtual Museums: A History (cont’d)
  6. 6. Why Virtual Museums? <ul><li>“… I grew up in India. I had a great education -- I'm not complaining -- but I didn't have access to a lot of these museums and these artworks. And so when I started traveling and going to these museums, I started learning a lot. And while working at Google, I try to put this desire to make it more accessible with technology together. So we formed a team, a great team of people, and we started doing this…” Sood, Amit. (May 2011). Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web [Video File] Retrieved from </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Virtual Museums? (cont’d) Image From: Sood, Amit. (May 2011). Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web [Video File] Retrieved from
  8. 8. <ul><li>A virtual museum holds the capacity to connect a viewer remotely to global visual and sensory information held within a physical museum (Basu, 2010). </li></ul><ul><li>The virtuality of a museum opens up access to viewers of all age, learning and interest levels. </li></ul><ul><li>The browse-as-you (similar to a physical museum) at the ease of a computer can create greater comfort and an unintimidating viewing/learning context. </li></ul><ul><li>This mode of learning and exploring is both learner-center and constructivist (Mckenzie, 1995). </li></ul>Why Virtual Museums? (cont’d)
  9. 9. <ul><li>The advancement of technology in recent years has allowed for increasing amounts of artifacts, artworks and other collection-housed items to be readily available via the world wide web (Ivarsson, 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Virtual visitors to museum websites already out-number physical (on-site) visitors, and many of these are engaged in dedicated learning,&quot; (Hawkey, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Studies show that young children as well other groups of learners are intimidated and in some cases afraid of the museum environment (Falk & Dierking, 1992). </li></ul><ul><li>Whether in families, school trips or adult outings, learning and social experiences in (physical) museums have sharply different outcomes when unguided versus guided (Falk & Dierking, 1992). </li></ul>Why Virtual Museums? (cont’d)
  10. 10. <ul><li>Informal, nontraditional and self-regulated modes of learning are becoming increasingly supported by empirical and qualitative research supporting their validity in the spectrum of cognition and understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>The paradigms surrounding learning and museum contexts have experienced significant changes over centuries and especially so in the past decades. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, the virtual museum, may provide opportunities to display more of a single collection, more often, than physically possible (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Physical museums house artifacts and masterworks which require custodianship and are victim to the damages of dust, light and other environmental exposures (Chmielewski, Mourkoussis, Patel, White, Walczak & Wojciechowski, 2005). </li></ul>Why Virtual Museums? (cont’d)
  11. 11. How to Use Virtual Museums <ul><li>If/as a classroom teacher: V.M.’s should not replace actual field trips. However, V.M.’s may assist complementarily for issues such as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long distance Travel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners’ digital interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention duration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom management(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital media & WWW browsing skill sets </li></ul></ul>The technology is still developing, the research is in infancy and educational methodologies require creativity and imagination…
  12. 12. <ul><li>If/as a classroom teacher: Technological accessibility and competency necessary, but not overwhelmingly so. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With a computer and project, virtual tours of virtual museums may be presented to an entire class. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructor will need to become acquainted with online materials and reputable VM databases, understand bandwidth limitations within presentations and occasionally abide by the outlines on permission usages of protected content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Without replacing a physical museum trip, a virtual museum tour could break the ice with both older and younger learners to prepare expectations of classroom trip. </li></ul></ul>How to Use Virtual Museums (cont’d)
  13. 13. <ul><li>If/as a museum educator: some could consider V.M.’s and V.E.’s to threaten the educational role at a physical museum. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The interactivity of a virtual exhibition or museum has a large benefit of being an accessible take-away component of the museum education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys, art activities, creative writing or critical thinking exercises developed within an institutions educational department (either physical or digital) would be dependent on or benefitted by the access of the collection from a home computer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A take-away activity or any take-home material connects content mastery and thoughtfulness across physical and digital contexts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The continuation of instruction/information sharing that is exchanged at a physical museum with at-home stimulation could develop long-term understandings. </li></ul></ul>How to Use Virtual Museums (cont’d)
  14. 14. Consider… PROS CLASSROOM TEACHING MUSUEM TEACHING <ul><li>Decreasing travel & admission costs for trips </li></ul><ul><li>Decreasing travel time </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise remote, out-of-the-question, intercontinental trips are accessible. </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering digital literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Holding learners’ digital interests </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to supervise closely within classroom vs. museum setting </li></ul><ul><li>Potential as preparation for actual visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Possesses ability to scaffold digital literacy education. </li></ul><ul><li>Accessing museum content at home allows for greater take-away. </li></ul><ul><li>Greater numbers of users could access museum content. </li></ul><ul><li>Fusion of virtuality in the physical museum setting could allow for deeper visitor connection and meaning-makings. </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting to the digital age adds to the spectrum of change making that allows museums to continue to stay relevant. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Consider… CONS CLASSROOM TEACHING MUSUEM TEACHING <ul><li>Technological access sometimes limited. </li></ul><ul><li>Technological concerns such as bandwidth, connection speeds, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Lacking the physical presence and environment contingent of being within a real museum. </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially promoting a remote-access approach transferable in other educational aspects and habits. </li></ul><ul><li>With less visitors, a museums’ revenue and funding could be effected negatively. </li></ul><ul><li>Remote-access could affect museums existentially. </li></ul><ul><li>Museum/School/Community collaborations may also suffer from lower participation. </li></ul>
  16. 16. How the Museum Becomes Virtual <ul><li>Curators, education officers, technicians and museum management guide the process of digitizing and presenting web materials (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Computer programmers work collaboratively with museums, photographers, videographers and site developers. </li></ul><ul><li>Through high resolution filming and shooting, HTML writing, coding and programming, exceptionally high resolution images are combined with 3D software that allows for a ‘walk-through’ type of interface. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Art Project shares their virtual museum content at 10 Billion pixels - Gigapixel Technology. </li></ul>
  17. 17. How the Museum Becomes Virtual <ul><li>“ Dynamic Database-Driven VRML” is a specific VRML technique originally developed in tangent with the Australian Museums on Line, seeks to organize various collections for subsequent online display (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Database-Driven VRML also acts as a server extension which can analyze a visitor’s identity and associations. </li></ul><ul><li>Online 3D environments are also created by using 3D modeling technology, Virtual Reality Modeling Language and X3D which is an updated component to VRML (McKenzie, 1997), (Higuera & Pernas, 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>A Robocam is commonly employed to both shoot and film as to analyze and record the physical environment, assisting in translating it into a 2D virtual space (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Imaging techniques include X-Ray imaging, 2D and 3D laser scanning, Image Based Rendering and Modeling (McKenzie, 1997), (Higuera & Pernas, 2005). </li></ul>
  18. 18. How the Museum Becomes Virtual <ul><li>Not dissimilar in the initiation of a project by an architect or engineer, the virtual museum begins with a ‘sketch’ or a landscape. </li></ul><ul><li>With the case of Dynamic Database-Driven VRML technology, a Virtual Community Engine creates this sketch (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-tags are then created in associate with the pages stored in a VCE and empower designer to add structural templates and usabilities (Russo, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>All of this creates a Virtual Community Modeling Language (VCML.) </li></ul>
  19. 19. A Sampling of VM Databases/Resources <ul><li>Google Art Project (MoMA, Palace at Versailles, Frick Collection & more) </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Institute’s National Museums of Natural History </li></ul><ul><li>The Louvre </li></ul><ul><li>The Vatican Museum </li></ul>
  20. 20. In Summary… Advancing Technological Tools + Creative & Professional Collaboration = Emerging Environments of Virtual Museums. Emerging Environments of Virtual Museums + Digital users/Learners = Remote and Global Access. Remote, Global, Digital access + Educational Engagement = Long-term Opportunities for Wide Interpretation and Meaning-Making.
  21. 21. Critical Discussion <ul><li>In the context of education, how does virtuality effect reality? </li></ul><ul><li>What is to be gained or lost with the uses of virtual museum environments? </li></ul><ul><li>How is a virtual museum environment similar to or different than an online classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>How accessible is this technology to teachers? In what ways could accessibility inconveniences be resolved? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways could virtual environments affect pedagogy? </li></ul><ul><li>Physical museums formally necessitate order and representation for social, historical and political contexts. In what ways is this formatted responsibility translated from physicality to virtuality? </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Alexander, Emily. (2011, Nov 16). Instructors using virtual campus to complement distance learning. The ASU Herald. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Basu, Saikat. (2010, Dec 20). Visit These 5 (virtual) Museums Without Leaving Home. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Cellary, W. & Walczak, K. (2006). Virtual Museum Exhibitions [Abstract]. Computer, 39(3), 93-95. doi: 10.1109/MC.2006.108   </li></ul><ul><li>Cellary, W. & Walczak, K. (2003). X-VRML for Advanced Virtual Reality Applications [Abstract]. Computer, 36(3), 89-92. doi: 10.1109/MC.2003.1185226   </li></ul><ul><li>Chmielewski J., Mourkoussis, N., Patel, M., White, M., Walczak, K. & Wojciechowski, R. (2005). Metadata Requirements for Digital Museum Environments. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 5(3) , 179-192. </li></ul><ul><li>Dierking, L., & Falk, J. (1992). The Museum Experience. Washington, D.C.: Howells House/ Whalesback Books. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Art Project. (2011). Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Hawkey, Roy. (2004). Learning with Digital Technologies in Museums, Science Centres and Galleries. FutureLab, 4-11. </li></ul><ul><li>Higuera, J., & Pernas, F. (2005). VRML Based System for a 3D Virtual Museum. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology. USA. doi10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch539 </li></ul><ul><li>Ivarsson, Elin. (2009). Definitions and Prospects of the Virtual Museum . (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from EBSCO. ISSN: 1651-6079. </li></ul>Bibliography
  23. 24. Bibliography (cont’d) <ul><li>Johnson, L. & Lamb, A. (2007). Teacher Tap: Digital & Virtual Museums. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>McKenzie, Jamie. (1997). Proceedings from Museums & The Web Conference ’97: Building a Virtual Museum Community. Los Angeles, CA: Betty Information Institute. </li></ul><ul><li>McKenzie, Jamie. (1997). Virtual Reality Transforms Virtual Museums, Online Exhibits & Exploratoriums. From Now On, 7(2). </li></ul><ul><li>McKenzie, Jamie. (1995). Virtual Museums. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Museum virtual exhibition 'first of its kind'. (2011, Nov 3). Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Rayward, W. B. & Twidale, M. B. W. (1999). From Docent to Cyberdocent: Education and Guidance in the Virtual Museum. Archives and Museum Informatics, 13. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Russo, Angelina. (1998). Object Immersion: Database-Driven VRML and Robocam Technology in the Virtual Museum [Conference Paper]. Archives & Museum Informatics </li></ul><ul><li>Sood, Amit. (2011, May). Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web [Video File]. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Swade, Doron. (2003). Virtual Objects: The End of the Real? Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 28(4), 273-279. </li></ul><ul><li>The Virtual Smithsonian. (2011). Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Museum. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved from </li></ul>