WW1 Discovery Open Mic Talk


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Single slide for a 4 minute open mic talk at UK Museums and the Web 2012 conference given Friday 30th November 2012 at the Wellcome Institute, London.


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  • Notes for UK Museums and the Web 2012 4 minute talk.Hi. I'm Adrian from Mimas - a national centre for innovations and data services based at the University of Manchester. Mimas has a number of services in the archives and libraries space, and is increasingly getting involved in museums and cultural heritage generally through various activities such as this project.This screenshot here is from the blog home page for the WW1 Discovery project that I'm project managing. The address is http://ww1.discovery.ac.uk. We started around Feb 2012 and are due to complete very soon.The project one liner is that "The WW1 Discovery project aims to make resources about the Great War more discoverable, and find new and innovative ways to present this content for the benefit of education and research" as on the slide here.So that's quite open ended sounding. What this actually means in practice is that this is a project aiming to exemplify the principles of something called the Discovery initiative funded by JISC, in this case around the subject of WW1. Discovery is essentially about two things, promoting 'open' in terms of open data and open licenses, and using aggregation and aggregated data to facilitate improved resource discovery. Discovery has a set of underlying technical principles. The overall aim is to demonstrate ways in which content can be presented to people and machines to maximise opportunities for educational and research innovation.WW1 Discovery is a proof of concept project that's creating an overlay API drawing in data on the Great War from a variety of library, archive and museum (LAM) sources including the National Maritime Museum, Imperial War Museums, the V&A, Oxford Great War Archive, the British Library and a number of other Discovery projects, as well as other more general aggregators such as Europeana, CultureGrid and the Archives Hub.If you not sure what an API is, it stands for 'application programming interface' and is a kind of back door for machines that some websites and services offer in addition to the human user interface 'front' door. Not many library, archive or museum institutions have APIs, especially museums in fact, - this has been one of our big challenges.There's information on the first release of the API detailed on our blog. It is very much a first release at the moment, and we do have issues to solve, in particular relevance ranking across the data sources. This is proving to be a major challenge that I'm not sure is validly solvable given the data we have access to. We're also working with two suppliers, 'We Are What We Do' who produce Historypin, and 'Mickey & Mallory' to produce a couple of user interfaces providing examples of the sort of things possible with aggregated open data. Again, the aim here is to demonstrate the Discovery initiative idea, finding new and innovative ways of presenting content to enhance education and research. We should be finished and releasing these very soon, so please check on the blog or keep your eye on twitter.
  • WW1 Discovery Open Mic Talk

    1. 1. 927233355446 ww1.discovery.ac.uk Adrian Stevenson, Mimas @adrianstevenson