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“Transforming Culture in the Digital Age” international conference in Estonia

Digital culture and all the opportunities granted to users by new media are leading to reflection on the role and future activities of memory institutions in this extremely interesting times. This cultural transformation were the main topic of  “Transforming Culture in the digital age” (http://transformingculture.eu/) conference which was held on 14th – 16th of April in Estonian city Tartu.  Organizers manager to gather academics as well as renowned practitioners from all around  the Word.  Conference programme was filled up with more than 50 lectures , presented in three parallel tracks.  Sometimes it was really hard to choose where to go because all presentations were very interesting. Thankfully organizers decided to publish full text of all papers as an ebook, it is available http://dspace.utlib.ee/dspace/handle/10062/14768.

During the conference Adam Dudczak for the PSNC DL Team presented a paper “Large-scale aggregation of metadata from distributed digital libraries in Poland”. Paper described basic assumptions, motivations , architecture and achievements of Digital Libraries Federation.

Among many interesting presentation which was presented at the conference we selected three the most interesting.

“How Web 3.0 combines user-generated and machine-generated content” –  Stijn Bannier i Chris Vleugels (http://transformingculture.eu/programme/april-15#bannier) .

Authors analyzed the development of the World Wide Web, this analysis was a starting point for discussion about potential impact of semantic web (or as some people say web 3.0) to our cultural habits.  To give a glimpse into how it might look like, authors presented results of scientific project CUPID (Cultural Profile and Information Database).  CUPID was aimed to build a prototype of a service which aggregates, categorize,  personalize and distribute cultural content (i.e. recommended exhibitions and concerts). After the presentation there was a really interesting discussion about privacy of internet users and how will cultural content consumption look like in the world of automatic recommendations (see Epic 2015).

“Locative Media and Augmented Reality. Bridges and Borders between Real and Virtual Spaces” –  Marisa Gómez Martínez (http://transformingculture.eu/programme/april-15#gomez)

Augmented Reality and Locative Media are very interesting not only from the perspective of the industry but opens many interesting opportunities for the cultural institutions. Author of this presentation showed a lot of examples of cultural/art projects which are using augmented reality and geo-awareness.  Two most interesting examples:

  • BioMapping (http://biomapping.net) – using a special devices capable to record human emotions and their geographic location Christian Nold created a emotional map of the cities like San Francisco and Paris.
  • In general all Julian Olivier’s works are very interesting but Advertiser (http://selectparks.net/~julian/theartvertiser/) is exceptional.  Julian says that Advertiser is more a Improved Reality than an Augmeneted Reality Project.  It is somehow true, just imagine a public space free from all advertisements.

These examples (and others) illustrated the rising role of virtual reality in the way how we perceive reality.

“For those looking for information and experiences:  National Digital Library of Finland” – Tapani Sainio, Mikael Vakkari (http://transformingculture.eu/programme/april-16#sainio)

National Digital Library of Finland (http://www.kdk2011.fi/en/)  is a project of the Ministry of Education of Finland.  Project was started in 2008, and will last till 2011, it is a joint effort of 35 institutions (including governmental , scientific and cultural units). Aim of this project is to assure a long term access to resources of libraries, museums and archives.  This should advance development of national scientific and learning infrastructure.

It seems that  National Digital Library of Finland project  will deliver:

  • national standards and recommendations in order to achieve interoperability between various data providers,
  • roadmap/strategy for long term digital content preservation,
  • web interface (in 2011) which will allow to access to a whole variety of Finland’s cultural heritage.

The architecture and some of the goals of National Digital Library of Finland are very similar to Digital Libraries Federation. In the initial phase of development it will serve as a metadata aggregator who will forward Finish metadata to Europeana.