Project E-Culture (N9C)
Enjoying museums from the comfort of your own lazy chair? Roaming the digital depot of your favorite archive? Compiling a collection without having to travel around the world? Or performing scientific research without having to make an appointment with the conservator? It’s possible! Museums and other institutions present our cultural heritage more and more often through websites.
However, there is a big chance that the context of a found digital heritage object is missing. This means you miss out on a lot, like the connection with objects from other museums or archives, stories about their creator, the history of their genesis, and other background information. But this kind of information is very much available. Not just inside the heads of curators and guides but simply in digital form, in other digital databases. The E-Culture project investigates how the interaction with the Dutch cultural heritage can be improved.
The E-Culture project is a cooperation of Digital Heritage Netherlands (DEN), the Institute Collection Netherlands (ICN), the Free University, the University of Amsterdam, and the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI). Together they are looking for methods to interconnect different kinds of information that come from different sources, in order to offer better search and presentation facilities. And they do so with success.
Semantic web technology
By using semantic web technology, the partners at this cultural worktable find solutions to interconnect information sources in a smart way and build a new infrastructure. New designs of web applications also see the light of day. This resulted in winning the first prize for the ‘Semantic Web challenge’ at the fifth International Conference on Semantic Web Technologies in 2006.
One of the project’s results is the Demonstrator. It enables the user to search for, for example, artworks made by post-impressionist artists, born in Europe before 1850. The search results are displayed in a time line that shows when the found objects were made, what their relation is to the period in which the artists lived, and which related art movements were active during that period.
To be able to offer this information, a first version of a system that combines information from all these sources was developed. Information about images of paintings on the internet can be loaded from an online museum. The system takes information about painters and other artists from another information source. Another source gives information on art movements and the materials used in art. A fourth source supplies information on places, regions, and countries around the world.
Digital Collection Netherlands
Scientists working on the E-Culture project are also developing new knowledge that can contribute to a better (standard) infrastructure for the Digital Collection Netherlands. They frequently go out into the field to point out to the sector the importance of clear agreements and standards during the development of this infrastructure.
Project leader: Prof. dr. Guus Schreiber, Vrije Universiteit
Also check out: E-Culture.multimedian.nl.
Learning Features (N1)
Multimodal Interaction (N2)
Ambient Multimedia Databases (N3)
Semantic Multimedia Access (N5)
Professional's Dashboard (N6)
Video At Your Fingertips (N7)
PERsonal Information Services (N9MI)