Day 2 – Tuesday 8 December Track 3: Lose control, gain influence!
Think big! The ECHOES project.
Martijn Andela is deputy director at Heritage Leiden. He has a Master’s degree in the history of
architecture (VU University Amsterdam) and a Bachelor’s degree in building engineering (HTS Haarlem). Andela worked for seven years as a conservation advisor at the municipal Office for Monuments and Archaeology in Amsterdam, being involved in several large renovations of listed buildings of international importance, like national museums. In 2008 he became the head of the municipal department for Monuments and Archaeology in Leiden where he took the initiative for the merger with the Regional Archives in Leiden, resulting in the present Heritage Leiden and Region. As a representative of the city of Leiden Andela is on the board of the Federatie Grote Monumentengemeenten (the federation of Dutch municipalities with a large number of national
monuments) and on behalf of that federation he is on the board of the national foundation for Erkende Restauratiekwaliteit Monumentenzorg (accredited restoration quality in building conservation) that manages standards and guidelines for the sector. Andela wrote several articles and publications on historical buildings, conservation and heritage policy, the most elaborate being a monography on the Dutch estate De Gelderse Toren. This is based on building archaeological research, a survey of the historic landscape and garden and on an extensive study of the archive of the estate which he rediscovered in Los Angeles and London.
“Shared heritage matters!”
On May 28 Heritage Leiden and Region as lead of a consortium of 16 in 6 countries submitted a 4M euro proposal for the REFLECTIVE-6 call of H2020. The project, called ECHOES, aims at the creation of a universally applicable digital ecosystem for sharing heritage collections locally or thematically . The most important goals are an innovative way of presentation that will lead to new possibilities of use and insights, and the creation of tools for a single point of access to all conceivable heritage collections.
The submission was the – for now – final stage of a process that began two years earlier with a quite ambitious dream for a small municipal institution like ELO. Somehow we managed to – via a market consultation and several conferences – get collectionholders on board, and SME’s and universities, all over Europe. We would like to share how we went about things to inspire other institutions that might think they are to small to undertake something like this.
EEXCESS: Think Cultural Heritage Content Outside the Box!
Silvia Russegger works as a Senior Researcher at at the Digital – Institute of Information and Communication Technologies at JOANNEUM RESEARCH in Graz, Austria and is the head of the business area “Culture & Media”. She received a degree in Technical Mathematics at Graz University of Technology. Her research activities include software development and standardisation activities as well research in information management. Within several national and international projects she could increase her know-how in the field of information systems and project management mainly in the cultural heritage sector.
“Intelligence without AMBITION is a bird without wings”
– C. Archie Danielson
In the last decade, Europe has conducted tremendous efforts to make cultural resources publicly available. Nevertheless the potential of its use remains largely untapped. One reason can be seen in current web content dissemination mechanisms which are dominated by a small number of large central hubs like major search engines, social networks or online encyclopaedias.
In order to reshape dissemination mechanisms for highly specialised cultural content, EEXCESS introduces the idea of augmenting existing web channels with high quality content through personalised federated recommendations. Instead of bringing the user to the content, i.e. creating additional portals, EEXCESS aims at bringing the content to the user, i.e. injecting cultural content into web channels which are habitually frequented by users as part of their normal day to day web activities, such as surfing, blogging or learning.
In a learning scenario, we consider a teacher who wants to increase the motivation of his pupils in history classes when preparing a pre-lesson discussion on the school’s Moodle platform. She includes some pictures and references to museum artefacts using the EEXCESS Moodle extension which analyses the text just typed and provides recommended content in the EEXCESS side panel, which can be included the in the Moodle post. Another scenario is the usage of EEXCESS features in a WordPress Plugin while creating or editing a post in WordPress. Inside the WordPress text editor you can get recommendations inside the EEXCESS area beneath the editor. The WordPress plugin can be used while creating a new post entry.
Storysavers: Mobile platform for storytelling and gamifcation
Eef Grob & Antoon Sturkenboom
Eef Grob is a Freelance crossmedia producer with over fifteen years of experience in innovative creative projects using online and mobile media, often combined with audiovisual stories. Currently working for the Storysavers Consortium to create a mobile location based game for heritage sites together with the applied game specialists at Qlvr.
“Working together in exploring new tools opens up new audiences and unexpected possibilities.”
Qlvr Games and apps that matter was founded by directors Jaap Gerretsen and Antoon Sturkenboom in 2008. Together with our creative team of designers and developers we focus on the improvement of health care and learning by gamification. Qlvr collaborates with several Dutch universities and organizations to deliver award winning serious games and applications.
“Game based storytelling is not a goal, it is a way to trigger children’s curiosity and activate them to explore and experience.”
Storysavers is a new mobile gaming platform that enables heritage organisations to make their own location based game for children (ages 8 to 12) and their families. By completing assignments players unlock the forgotten story of a child on that location. Different Storysaver games are connected through an overall gaming concept and a collaborative marketing strategy. This way players are encouraged to discover new heritage sites after playing a game at one specific location.
The Storysavers-app invites children to complete certain assignments and discover how a child of their age lived at that place. The app uses GPS and a map of the location to pinpoint assignments to a certain point at the site. Special tools reveal hidden clues at specific spots, like pictures of buildings that are no longer there, objects or historical information. Players are urged to actively interact with the location by using their camera or microphone.
Storysavers is currently being developed by several heritage locations in the province of Utrecht together with Qlvr, a company specialized in applied gaming. New heritage partners are very welcome to join us in creating new stories and thus connecting more Dutch heritage sites in a playful manner.
Storysavers will be available for iOS and Android.
Heritage & Location: first steps towards a Dutch Digital Heritage Network
Ralph Kits works as project officer Heritage & Location at the DEN Foundation (Digital Heritage Netherlands). Heritage & Location is a project by several partners, including the DEN Foundation, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Waag Society, the National Library of the Netherlands, Oneindig Noord-Holland and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The project aims to stimulate heritage organizations to provide better access to their collection data by improving their (historical) geographical contextual information.
Ralph works on many aspects of the project Heritage & Location, from communications between project partners and the broad range of participating heritage institutions to actively supporting several development teams, keeping track of dependencies between them, and aligning activities with the overall project goals. Ralph has an MA degree in Art History (Modern Art) from Utrecht University. He started at the DEN Foundation in 2010 as a communications officer. Among other tasks, he worked on developing the new DEN website, previous editions of DISH and the national equivalent DE Conferentie (“Digitaal Erfgoedconferentie”). Before his work at DEN, Ralph worked at the Dutch international contemporary art platform BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst in Utrecht, and at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, where he and the web team launched the new website and the collection online.
“The power and possibilities of strategic collaborations are indispensable when seeking to streamline and standardize digital cultural heritage data (formats) and services.”
Heritage & Location will present a poster in which they point out the importance and possibilities of strategic collaboration when streamlining and standardizing digital cultural heritage data (formats) and services.
The project Heritage & Location stimulates heritage organizations to provide better access to their collection data by improving their (historical) geographical contextual information. When dealing with heritage, the historical dimension (time, place and event) is of major importance. Almost all databases and services for digital cultural heritage contain specific (historical) geographical data. More often than not, historical geographical terminology differs significantly from their present-day equivalents. To be able to effectively use the available information, both the harmonization of data (formats) and the use of widely accepted (open) standards are necessary. This is a crucial precondition for actually realizing links between contextually related information.
The project Heritage & Location aims to provide a significant contribution to the standardization within heritage institutions and facilitates both knowledge and tools to enable them to make sense and use of the new possibilities this entails. What lessons can be learned from the project, in terms of making strategic choices and where to invest budget and resources? What future developments to anticipate on, both inside and outside of the individual organization? What mind set does it take to actively anticipate the recently presented Dutch national strategy for digital heritage? How to choose collaborations and participate in the development of a national, cross-sector infrastructure of digital heritage facilities, as proposed by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network?