In Curator: the Museum Journal, Nancy Proctor has an excellent article on the Google Art Project and its implications for displaying, using, and exploring museum items and museums online. This is an important and useful article for its specific review of the Google Art Project and for the way it points toward future implications of imaging, interface, and interactivity for museum items and museums overall. The University of Florida Libraries explored related issues with the “Arts of Africa” project to digitize museum objects in the round. Many other museums and libraries are working on similar concerns related to artifactuality and technology, with interrelated implications forRead More →

We’ve frequently heard requests from internal users and patrons for a flipbook style view. In researching options, the Gnubook’s javascript-based page turner looked best and the Library of Congress came out with a clean implementation in October that was easy to emulate. Mark Sullivan, programmer for SobekCM, reviewed it and added the view in under a day. The new view is enabled within SobekCM so all collections, including the UF Digital Collections and the Digital Library of the Caribbean, have it enabled. The flipbook view is active for the entire Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Collection and this is an example: TheRead More →

Not only does the new interface for the Florida Aerial Photography Digital Collection support searching using the Google Map interface (complete with drag and drop pins for search refinement), it also supports searching by address. If that weren’t enough, Mark Sullivan (UF Digital Collections and Digital Library Center Programmer) now has the location circled on the images. Drawing something on the images may seem easy, but it isn’t. Drawing on a normal image is easy – image size, where to draw, calculate, etc.  The images in the Florida Aerial Photography Digital Collection are being delivered by a JPEG2000 server. The server allows people to selectRead More →

I’ve stolen the title of this post from Shawn Rider’s article “Why Nintendo Gets It” because the title explains the whole point of this post and because of the parallels between Google and Nintendo. Nintendo gets it because they understand that games are about playability more so than technological innovation and because they understand that innovation can be  evolutionary or sustaining as well as disruptive. Evolutionary or sustaining innovations build incrementally on existing structures, but disruptive innovation changes the whole landscape. The 8-bit NES to the Super Nintendo was an evolutionary or sustaining innovation, largely technological, but that technology enabled longer and deeper games. TheRead More →

This is another news release. Normally I don’t like to re-post news since it’s already handled by RSS feeds. However,  at the start of the University of Florida’s fall semester, there’s so much news with so many new people that it’s good to share to help get the word out through the clamor. The newness of the fall semester should start to quiet down in the next few weeks though. *** The Library Virtual Worlds Group at the University of Florida Libraries will be hosting a virtual lecture by Paul Fishwick, Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida, onRead More →

The University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) now include a “Map It” feature! With the “Map It” option, all items with geographic information are now displayed on a map using the Google Maps API. For instance, users can now see this photo of Gainesville mapped by clicking on the “Map It” tab, which shows a Google Map view of the photo’s location with a placemark. See the Citadelle Henri Christophe in Haiti, and then see the satellite imagery map for it, which still clearly shows the structure, along with the surrounding area! In case the maps aren’t exciting enough, UFDC also allows displays Flash filesRead More →

I’m currently at the Center for Literary Studies (CLC) Codework: Exploring relations between creative writing practices and software engineering workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, held at West Virginia University (and it’s April 3-6, 2008 and there’s more on it here). Ted Nelson, coiner of the word hypertext and media studies visionary spoke. Sandy Baldwin opened by introducing Nelson – describing Nelson as a luminary, and having him speak as astronomical – and then describing how Nelson influenced his own English practice and work. Nelson began by explaining his preference for open ended speaking, and then introduced his new book-in-progress “geeks bearing gifts” onRead More →

“This is crucial, the fact that a book is a thing, physically there, durable, indefinitely reuseable, an object of value.” The quote above is from page 38 of “Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading,” by Ursula K. Le Guin in Harper’s Magazine (Vol. 316, No. 1983, February 2008, p. 33-38), and it speaks to the issue of materiality for digitization. Digital initiatives have rightfully focused on access to book contents, or access to information. Given the technological limitations for even this, with the difficulties from copyright and costs of mass digitization, access to information has been a lofty goal alone. Now however,Read More →

Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “The Library of Babel” told of a fictional library with every possible book. Within the vast library, all useful books and books of gibberish would be included together putting the process of finding information into a desperate state. The rise in digital archives without a corresponding rise in organizational structures could lead to a “Servers of Babel” scenario, at least for awhile, when we’re archiving 27 exabytes (27,000 petabytes, or 27 billion gigabytes) of data in the next two years. Finding new ways to organize and create useful means for accessing this information–and finding ways to preserve decaying, deprecated, andRead More →

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is now on YouTube. Since there’s so much in terms of historical footage and in terms of history within that footage, I’m excited to see what this will mean for museums and historical materials. The Queen is on YouTube on The Royal Channel: The Official Channel of the British Monarchy. While many official organizations – political, governmental, and other – have released videos through museums and libraries, it’s interesting to see those materials being added into the regular-user interfaces where people can stumbled across them through the official-and-popular format. Seeing historical footage like “Roses for the Rose Queen” are interesting in themselvesRead More →