Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Kate Hennessy's picture

Virtual Repatriation and the Application Programming Interface: From the Smithsonian Institution’s MacFarlane Collection to “Inuvialuit Living History”

Kate Hennessy, Simon Fraser University, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Canada; Ryan Wallace and Nicholas Jakobsen, Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Canada; Charles Arnold, University of Calgary, Canada

Abstract

Digital technologies are providing heritage institutions and stakeholder publics with new possibilities for sharing curatorial and ethnographic authority. More than creating access to museum collections, institutional practices of making digital records public have opened spaces for “virtual repatriation” and the production of alternative representations of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The Rijksmuseum API

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API
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open data
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Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
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In November 2011 The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam launched its API (Application Programming Interface) as part of the contest “Apps4NL” (Apps for The Netherlands). It didn’t take the Collection Information Department and webbuilders long to develop a technical plan, build and launch the API platform. Our quality driven and structured approach of collection automation helped us enormously.

Type: 
Demonstration - show your project
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Weaving and hacking collections

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API
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open data
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Linked Open Data
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mashup
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hacking
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In this hands-on workshop we are going to create concepts and use cases based on available online resources. Using the API's of our colleagues we like to research how we can make new experiences for our (online) visitors when combining our joint collections. 

Type: 
Workshop - full or half day
luke.dearnley's picture

Reprogramming The Museum

Luke Dearnley, Powerhouse Museum, Australia

Abstract

This paper looks at how the Powerhouse Museum's collection data API launched in 2010 quantitatively and qualitatively improves upon the access provided by the download dataset previously offered, as well as how the tracking methods were built into the API to ensure that the project is best able to adapt to the user needs of API developers. It provides details on the lessons learned and suggests best practices for API development in the cultural sector.

Keywords: Web 2.0, API, collection access, Flickr, semantic web, Creative Commons

Program Item Reference: 
Reprogamming the Museum

Casgliad y Werin Cymru - People’s Collection Wales: combining museum, library, archive, broadcaster and user-generated content to create “Wales in a website”.

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user-generated
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3D
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open-source
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API
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geo-spatial
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apps
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Casgliad y Werin Cymru – The People’s Collection Wales is more than just a website, it is a collaborative and federated programme developed by national institutions to tell the story of a nation from the perspective of its people.

Type: 
Paper - in formal session
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Reprogamming the Museum

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API
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collections
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Semantic Web
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Web 2.0
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Web applications
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museum practice
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collections online
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Many museums have been busy building APIs since the Brookyln Museum set the example, and in 2009 the Powerhouse made the decision to offer a much of its collection data downloadable as a data dump. The decision was primarily a pragmatic one, as the Museum wanted to test the waters and examine how the data might be best used before dedicating resources to developing a full API.

Type: 
Paper - in formal session
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