info @ archimuse.com
published: April, 2002
Here and there: managing multiply - purposed digital assets on the Duyfken website
Session: Content Management
In 1606 Duyfken, owned by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and stationed in the East Indies, made a voyage of exploration looking for "east and south lands" which took it on the first historically recorded voyage to Australia. As part of bringing Australian history to life, a replica of the Duyfken is currently sailing in the wake of her original predecessor on her way to the Netherlands for the 2002 VOC Celebrations.
The website http://www.duyfken.com is the online exhibition of the Duyfken Replica. The website is the only exhibition available when the ship is between ports. It connects to a database through ASP and can be edited dynamically through an HTML administration console on a secure URL. The administrator can upload any data (text, images, QTVR) through this console including the daily logs the captain emails via satellite.
The website currently consists of a single English language site sitting on an NT server at WebCentral, an Australian ISP. The Duyfken Foundation wants to translate the entire site into Dutch. This effectively means doubling the site and having both Dutch and English versions sitting side-by-side at WebCentral. In addition, for traffic reasons we want to create a mirror of the entire development (Dutch/English) on an NT server at an ISP in the Netherlands.
All this has serious ramifications for the dynamic uploading of data through the administration console. The language issue dictates that there would be more than one person with access and in more than one location and that there could well be a need to have slightly differing information, especially in the areas of "News & Events" once the Duyfken has arrived in the Netherlands. However, it is crucial to minimise handling of the data and to safeguard version control and minimise ambiguity with respects to data that needs to be 'the same' across all parts of the development. This will require multiple sets of metadata to be created and maintained.
This presents the classic multiple concurrency pattern in managing media artefacts, one of a number of such patterns identified by Valerie Hobbs and Diarmuid Pigott at Murdoch University as part of their research into multimedia databases. These usage patterns and their requisite usage protocols enable a case such as the Duyfken website to be handled in a relatively straightforward manner, despite the disparities in language and time zones. The multiple concurrency pattern solution is presented, as well as several potential extensions to the Duyfken website each with their own patterns (e.g. archiving, reference, education), and a generalised paradigm is presented for a media-rich website management suitable for museums.