Exploiting Digital Datasets


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Presentation by George Mallen, System Simulation LTD. Given at the London Museum, Libraries and Archives Group conference April 2007

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Exploiting Digital Datasets

  1. 1. All Change: Adapt and Thrive in a Digital Age Exploiting Digital Datasets Dr George Mallen System Simulation Ltd www. ssl .co. uk [email_address]
  2. 2. ‘ the transformation wrought by ICT extends to the very heart of the museum, challenging its fundamental nature’ Renaissance in the Regions
  3. 3. SSL - the simple facts <ul><li>Emerging from research work on learning and decision making, founded in 1970 to do contract research on applications of interactive computing </li></ul><ul><li>Early projects on system modelling, decision support and educational gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Then visualisation and animation </li></ul><ul><li>Then IR, museums, ePublishing, image libraries and higher education </li></ul>
  4. 4. Current business <ul><li>20 people based in Covent Garden, London </li></ul><ul><li>~£1M revenues, market sectors: </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Image libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing & information services </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative R&D </li></ul>
  5. 5. Selection of clients and partners <ul><li>The British Museum, the V&A, the Royal Academy, London’s Transport Museum, the Courtauld Institute, JISC, the 24 Hour Museum, SCRAN, Getty Images, Haymarket Medical, IFIS, MA, BFI, BBC, RTE, EC, Wellcome Trust … </li></ul><ul><li>EU Framework projects – FPs 4, 5 and 6 on cultural heritage projects </li></ul>
  6. 6. Systems for <ul><li>Collection management </li></ul><ul><li>Public Access </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>Portals </li></ul>
  7. 7. MUSIMS Cataloguing <ul><li>Conforms to standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objects (SPECTRUM/CIDOC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books (MARC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archives (ISAD(G)) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images (NISO, VRA) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supports museum procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Adapts to different uses </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Catalogue is the key
  9. 9. Individual museums
  10. 10. Delivery Channels <ul><li>Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Kiosks & interactives </li></ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul><ul><li>PDAs </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile phones </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Royal Academy
  12. 12. The British Museum COMPASS
  13. 13. SCRAN
  14. 14. Sense of Place South East
  15. 15. Memoria
  16. 16. 24 Hour Museum
  17. 17. Museums Association
  18. 18. Public access to the catalogue
  19. 19. Thematic interpretation
  20. 20. Contextual information
  21. 21. Commissioned content
  22. 22. Journalism
  23. 23. Participation
  24. 24. Visitor kiosk
  25. 25. Exploiting Digital Assets <ul><li>The digital value chain </li></ul><ul><li>Business models </li></ul><ul><li>Future developments </li></ul>
  26. 26. The Digital Value Chain <ul><li>Digitising </li></ul><ul><li>Content management (DAM) </li></ul><ul><li>Content aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>Production </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery </li></ul>
  27. 27. Business models <ul><li>Ownership – objects, multimedia representations, metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Public private partnerships </li></ul>
  28. 28. Future developments <ul><li>Communities of interest and practice </li></ul><ul><li>Social tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic metadata and the semantic web </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing system intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>New displays and interfaces </li></ul>
  29. 29. Finally, an Evolutionary Perspective <ul><li>Around 70,000 years ago there was a near extinction of homo sapiens. After the eruption of Mt Toba and the ensuing ice age perhaps only a few tens of thousands humans survived. From them has come a truly astonishing rate of cultural evolution. Why, and where’s it going? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Culture as Externalised Knowledge <ul><li>Survival after near extinction probably largely based on ability to pass on skill and knowledge - “show and tell” </li></ul><ul><li>Transition from hunter gatherer to settled communities demanded agreed or imposed rules and conventions. Set down as laws, ie externalised </li></ul><ul><li>Religions as accepted beliefs with externalised texts and iconographies </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific method as means of building external knowledge base </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic information systems now main repositories for scientific knowledge and cultural history </li></ul>
  31. 31. MLAs as guardians and teachers of cultural history <ul><li>Broadly we can see universities becoming the creators of new knowledge (high end knowledge markets), and industry/commerce becoming the creators of new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Will MLAs then become the guardians of history with a key educating/mediation role advising governance, policy formation and decision? </li></ul><ul><li>The big question – how to develop the role of cultural history in tempering the application of knowledge and technology? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Further reading <ul><li>The Digicult project at www.digicult.info </li></ul><ul><li>“ Digital Knowledge Exploitation: ICT, memory institutions and innovation from cultural assets” by Carla de Laurentis, Jnl of Technology Transfer Vol31, No 1 Jan 06, Springer </li></ul>
  33. 33. Some SSL driven websites <ul><li>http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/ </li></ul><ul><li>  http://images.vam.ac.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>  http://vads.ahds.ac.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.sopse.org.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://medphoto.wellcome.ac.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://photos.ltmcollection.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/postcodes/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.untoldlondon.org.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.museumofcroydon.com/ </li></ul>