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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

links wot caught my eye, #4 of n

  • Augmented Reality Field Trips & the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil War - ReadWriteWeb. For us, the start of the First World War is the big looming anniversary, but in the US the Civil War is also hugely significant, and the 150th is anniversary is pretty much here. I'll be keeping an eye on how it's marked to see if there are ideas we can port over for three years hence.
  • Internet Archive Partners With 150 Libraries to Launch an E-Book Lending Program - also RWW. I worry that, whilst e-book lending may take off, it's going to be hard for libraries to come up with a proposition that makes them the place to go in order to borrow. I wish them well but can't help thinking of Canute's legendary demonstration of inevitability
  • Interim report card on O'Reilly's IT transformation insights into the progress they're making in transforming IT inside (perhaps) the world's greatest IT publisher
  • AR browsers - RWW again. Argon looks kind of Layar-like but I like the idea of Argon-enabling a regular website with a few lines of code (whatever that means). I still don't know what Daqri is but I guess if it gains traction we'll all find out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

links wot...#3 of n

OK not a lot in this one but I may as well get it out there.

  • Whither social search?
    O'Reilly Radar is getting together with Bing to cover the future of search, which they promise to cover much more widely than just Bing. Just up, here's a video here that frames the idea of social search and gives an idea of the sort of future Bing, and probably many others, envisage for letting us make the most of the wisdom of our network.
  • Digging words
    From the same source, you should also check out the interview about WordSeer. Digital heritage scholars, check it out and have a go at the heat mapping. I tried the word "cane", seems as good as any. This is very timely for me, given that I spent this morning discussing how to make a neglected archive of potentially immense historical value work for us and for scholars through digitisation. When you have a mile of shelves groaning with typed transcripts, there's a clear use-case for powerful tools like this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

links wot...#2 of n

OK here's another quick blast of stuff that's worth a glance:

Easy and Cheap Authoring for the Microsoft Kinect with Open Exhibits - Ideum
Yet again, cool stuff from Ideum. Their core OpenExhibits multitouch software is free to museums and the like, and now here's a plugin to make it work with Microsoft's Kinect interface. Niiice.

Mission: Explore (link to OS blog)
Kids to entertain over half term? Want something vaguely educational/stimulating but not dull for them to do? Looks like there are some good ideas courtesy of Mission: Explore

"Internet of things" links
For some reason I've seen several articles using the phrase "Internet of things" these last few days - it's not new but I guess it's trending (like the word "trending"). Here are some:
  • Mobile Phones Will Serve as Central Hub to "Internet of Things" - ReadWriteWeb
    Some interesting figures and observations, and the idea of the mobile phone in this role makes ever more sense. It has identity, multiple communications protocols, mobility and flexibility, ubiquity, ever more power... Figures.
  • Thingworx (HT TechCrunch)
    Although the thin TechCrunch regurgitated press release thing mentioned "internet of things" I'm still not very clued in on WTF this is. Your imagination can run wild when faced with such imprecise claims, but still, it could be interesting. The most important news from the TC perspective, of course, is that they have Series B funding. Phew.
  • Mobile, social, being in the world with the ‘Internet of things’ - Mariamz
    Finally, an orthogonally different meaning of the phrase, but a most interesting one (and nothing to do with gadgets). The Mariamz perspective is always unique!

links wot caught my eye lately. Number 1 in a series of n>=1

Managing the Flow - the Social Data Flow
RWW on Alfreso's approach to managing the gushing torrent of social data. "Content is the conversation".
"Alfresco's push is also part of its strategic adoption of CMIS, an open standard for integrating content into enterprise environments. This allows Alfresco to integrate with IBM's Lotus Quickr and Drupal as two examples."

I've not really registered this one before. A standard to enable systems to work out how to address a request for information about image and video resources so that they can be embedded elsewhere. Or something. Thinking, this does something significantly different to MediaRSS that could be useful for us in opening up our content for reuse. Shame there's nothing for audio in it, the reason seems to be for culpably UI-related reasons. Where's the separation of data from presentation? But otherwise, interesting

Geni - introduction for developers
Geni is a freemium family-tree building web app which aims to "build the world's family tree" or some such. Of course, this is somewhat stymied by the fact that users' trees can, quite rightly, be kept private. But nevertheless the tools are there for linking them together. The existence of an API makes it particularly interesting, even if coverage is poor at present. I guess one could just use it to explore the data you have put in yourself.

How to licence research data - DCC
Clearly this isn't the same problem as how to licence museum collection metadata but it's in the same problem space. It's an issue that few people have really tackled properly yet, at least not in its full implications - it's easy enough to tack a CC-BY licence to something in theory, but how does an organisation really find the right balance between enabling/encouraging reuse, and ensuring that the data are kept up to date, accurate, and (possibly) attributed when no longer on their own digital properties? I don't know the answer, but whilst we're waiting for the issues to be discussed properly this sort of white paper may be the best proxy to get us thinking along the right lines. I think at least there are some instructive analogies to be found here, as well as some stuff that helped clarify legal areas I was confused about.