THATCamp 2014 - Live Blogging 2
Monday, February 10, 2014

We've set the schedule for the next two days, which you can find here. (Our own, Renee Ater, will be facilitating a conversation tomorrow on corwdsourcing and creating a digital archive!)

Right now Piotr Adamczyk, PhD student and Google-genius extraoridnaire, is surveying for us the history and growth of the Google Cultural Institute (from its first days working with the Prado masterpieces, which he namechecked!). Interesting to learn that this all started as a 20% project (all Google users are able, and encouraged, to take 20% of their time and work on something about which they have a great passion.

Archive Exhibitions - Tell Stories - new tool for museums.

Google Open Gallery, launched December 10, 2013 with 45 pilot users. Tools (zoom, online exhibitions, refine) are free and can be freely used by anyone. "Not quite there" he says. Invites people to kick the tires.

Lab just opened in Paris (December 2013) with million pixel cameras, etc., to bring together cultural folks and Google engineers.


More things, but now is taking questions....

Copyright implications? Cultural institutions have that responsibility, and given the all-encompassing nature of the institutions, the laws vary, which makes their part in it hard.

What tools/training do undergrads and grads in art history need to do this? How many on teams actually have art-history training? Not many (5 on present content team)

What is the procedure for non-profits to get involved? It's hidden :-). FAQ has a link or one can request an invite (typically 40 institutions ever two - three months)

Google Cultural Lab and what might come out of that and its relation to other initiatives? Rare treat to have such a physical space: scholarly work - primary sources - how Google search might help; physical site will have a residency program using Google data and Google tools; incubators for artists and scholars to be working.

Any light to be shed on projects, i.e. - workflows? Engineers understanding timeflows (scholarship/humanities take longer; do not understand the constraints placed by institutions on the flow of data)

A little more on a talk "Women and Art?" It's themed around International Women's Day. Admits that the Google corporate strucytre might make of this a hash and superficial. Content team tries to push deeper.

Any examples of use? Using Hangouts with Google Cultural Institute? Crystal Bridges as an example of success? So far not much. Generating content? it's hard.

Last question: does Google have plans to partner with institutions that do not have digitized collections to digitize them? Ummmm, it's kind of secret for right now :0


THATCamp 2014 - Live Blogging 3
Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm back!

Liam Andrew and Desi Gonzalez (Hyperstudio - MIT)

Collaborations with ThoughtBot, Annotator, Stanford Humanities


AnnotationStudio: Mostly missed ( - code on GITHub

Art X? (an app): cultural events, exhibitions, and public sculpture. Basically links an event or work found through this app to other events of similar interest (looking for deep, not superficial, links (looking to make this open source)

(collaborating with ThoughtBot, MIT's LIST, and other museums to create app)


WHAM: World History of Art Mashup - a Case Study (A preliminary wireframe)
 - Nathalie Hager

Interested in the possbilities of cultural exchanges evident in objects (the blue-white between Persia and China as ean example)

this initiative reflects a shift to a more globally-oriented scope and class

what to do about the textbook? Stokstad, good, but built on the structure of the modern nation state

online versions? Met Timeline? Good, but has its own limitations.

Solution? The Mashup

flexible, online, open-data, reconfigurable, remix

Designs for this mashup

1st attempt: object, space and time - good, but........

2nd attempt: make the map the platform (entire background), with timeline embedded and top banner populated with objects

3rd attempt:
 map smaller, timeline on top, objects on bottom, lines of connection

4th attempt: and so on.....

current design gives top 80% over to map (left 2/3) and object(s) in focus and text (1/3), with bottom a series of timeline and an offering of stories

drilling down renders a more-focussed map and abundant links


available for use now? no, wireframe stage

from where would mashup be sourced? all of the best quality sources, text and web

really an interface design or a true mashup (connecting APIs - a series of small modules) (too big)? Not sure?

possible to emphasize context around the object? open to end-user contributions (open-source)

custom mashup? not locking down an interface? Why not Google Maps (or another open-source maps) as the platform for building? tools for students to customize the interface?

Okay, off to the breakout sessions!



THATCamp 2014 - Live Blogging 4
Monday, February 10, 2014

Editor's note: see this link for another accounting of session -

OK. In the Linked Open data session (nod of the hat to Matt Lincoln!, who I just namedropped)

linked ancient world data institute--lawdi

Pleiades (mapping project)

plugins in wordpress to facilitate?

can we define Linked Open Data (so that we might know that we all are on the same page)? Some (many) of us, no.

permanence? important to link back to institutions that are trustworthy (not changing)

Open Knowledge Foundation listserv

good example (archives New York Public Library) with explanations of their procedures and process for creation

Structured Data Testing Tool (Google) for people to use in their own websites (structured data testing tool - keywords)

Freebase (not need to know sprkle) (used for a news aggregator project/website) good for disambiguation - happily accepts

 - wikimedia foundation (inherent links in wikipedia)


promblem of western-centrism; not great for projects that are cross-cultural across the time/date line!

cool stuff made with cultural apis (look it up)

The Need to Create Linked Open Data

John Reisig - talking about his projects; esp. Japanese wood blocks

American Numismatic Society - ancient coin project

Head - spinning!


THATCamp 2014 - Live Blogging 5
Monday, February 10, 2014

Renee McGarry just ran us through an exercise about our teaching statements and their relationships to the tools (digital or otherwise) we use to achieve one facet of our teaching statement. Good opportunity to network with others on this question (also good in the late afternoon!)

Nancy Ross is discussing her experiences this past year teaching a different art history of the twentieth century, one focused on teaching only women artists, whose names were entered into a CSV file and, from that, and with the help of undergraduate students interested in technology, students created visualizations of the networks between women artists and beyond them. "Quite an exercise" and one "important". Reflecting on how these visualizations of networks, and the course content as a whole, created a community largely growing more understanding, because the students never realized the import and impact of art history on their lives, which the visualizations helped foster. Affirming experiences through technology and with art history? Seems to be the case, from Dr. Ross's account.

Her article/report on this experience can be accessed at the Journal of Interactive Technology of Pedagogy.


AR's the thing: museums are going to innovate, just watch for it
Friday, February 7, 2014

Augmented Reality is about to go big, and in a big way. Google Glass has hit the consumer market and there is a better than even chance that this will prove a successful addition to an already bewildering array of magical devices that deliver vast and rich amounts of information to our eyes and our fingertips. Museums of all stripes, from natural history to art history, from zoos to science centers, are experimenting with AR as a way to draw in audiences and engage them in meaningful (and sustained) relationships.

But how will AR change the museum experience? This question is one that John Shipman, Director of the Art Gallery here at Maryland, and I have been kicking around for a while now and we are quite excited to announce a series of Spring workshops centered around the question of AR in museums and galleries, specifically the question of how the visitor might generate new content through AR that will impact (one hopes for the good) the gallery-going experience for all. These workshops are part discussion, part hands-on creating, and full-on fun. They will take place in the Collaboratory, so space is limited. To sign up, please contact John Shipman at Hope to see you there.

AR Workshops Flyer