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I’m working on some projects at the moment, aiming to make augmented reality and cultural heritage discovery easier and gentler for the small scale historical society, student groups, etc: folks with a basic level of web literacy, but no real great level of programming skills.
- In Omeka, have the Geolocation plugin installed and working.
- Navigate to
http://[your omeka site.com]/geolocation/map.kml
- You should see the xml structure of your geolocated items.
- In a new tab, go to wikitude.me, and sign up for a developer account (it’s free).
- Click ‘add new world’.
- Click ‘upload KML file’.
- Fill in all required fields (you’ll have to create a 32 by 32 pixel icon to serve as a dot-on-the-map, and upload that too).
- Under ‘KML/KMZ’ file, click on ‘Enter KML URL’. This will give you a box into which you may paste the URL from #2.
- Hit save.
If you’re successful, the next screen will tell you how many points have been uploaded. If, at some later point you’ve added many more items to Omeka, you’ll have to go back to your World in Wikitude and hit save again, to upload the most recent stuff.
Now, with Wikitude on your phone, you might not be able to find your world right away. There’s a solution. If you log back into the Wikitude developer zone, and click on the world you just created, you’ll find a string of letters under ‘developer key’. On your Iphone, go to ‘settings’ , select ‘Wikitude’. Under ‘Developer Settings’, there’s a box for the developer key. Enter that developer key there. Start Wikitude up, refresh the display, and your items from Omeka will be under ‘Around Me’.
…And there you have it. Right now, this just does the basic text descriptions, and the location. By fiddling with the Geolocation plugin code, one might be able to add the other information that Wikitude can display, like images, video, audio, etc.
For a similar approach, but directly from Google Maps, see this video by drmonkeyjcg:
Came across the ‘historyteacher’s channel’ on youtube today. Absolutely brilliant videos & lyrics mashing up modern pop with historical topics. What better to start a Friday 8.30 lecture with than Radiohead rejigged for Minoan Crete?
or a bit of Constantine + Dexy’s Midnight Runners…
Just seen: talesofthings.com
Wouldn’t it be great to link any object directly to a ‘video memory’ or an article of text describing its history or background? Tales of Things allows just that with a quick and easy way to link any media to any object via small printable tags known as QR codes. How about tagging your old antique clock, a building, or perhaps that object you’re about to put on eBay.
They have a free iPhone app to allow you to “scan, comment, and add location to things”. Cliocaching, anyone?
I just realized. I’ve been intermittently blogging now for three years, as of this December past. In that time, I think I’ve remained more or less true to the ‘mission’ of Electric Archaeology – to try out new techs, recount experiments, disseminate my research, in new media for archaeology and history. There have been times when I could post thoughtful, in-depth pieces; and times when I’ve merely passed on the interesting things that have turned up in my inbox. As of this morning according to WordPress, Electric Archaeology has had over 85,000 views, spread across 394 posts. There have been 329 comments made. I have 62 categories – clearly I need some rationalization there.
I sometimes toy with the idea of moving Electric Archaeology to my own space, so I can put some better analytics on it, but for whatever reason, that just doesn’t happen…
The all time most viewed posts on Electric Archaeology (the most recent posts of course are at the bottom, having had less chance to be viewed):
I came across the DiRT page this morning, run by Lisa Spiro. What an awesome resource! If you know of tools that are useful in your own research, suggest them to Lisa and get them listed on this page. From the front:
This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively. Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. We provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool’s features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.
I love how it is organized by asking what it is you want to do. While focussed on the humanities and social sciences, there is a distinct lack of Agent Modeling or other simulation tools, which I suppose indicates that simulation hasn’t made great inroads amongst the digital humanities set yet.
Some great dynamic map tools though!
- ArcGIS: ”an integrated collection of GIS software products that provides a standards-based platform for spatial analysis, data management, and mapping” (Commercial, Windows)
- GeoNames: “GeoNames geographical database covers all countries and contains over eight million placenames that are available for download free of charge.” (Free, web-based)
- Google Earth: “Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.” (Free, with Pro version available; PC/Mac/Linux)
- Google Maps: allows you to view maps and directions, with practical applications for transportation and diverse viewing options to further specify location (Free, web-based)
- Open Street Map: “a free, editable map of the whole world…allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth” (Free, web-based)
- Platial: “the world’s largest social map service…hundreds of thousands of people around the world share and discover all kinds of Places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video and stories in one simple interface…Maps are free and can be embedded on any Web page” (Free, web-based)
- TimeMap: A Java-based client-server/standalone temporal mapping applet for distributed datasets, developed by the Archaeological Computing Laboratory at the University of Sydney (Open Source or support license)
- UUorld: a program that “provides an immersive mapping environment, high-quality data, and critical analysis tools” through the production of four-dimensional, interactive maps (Free, with Pro version available; Windows/Mac/Linux)
- Yahoo! Map Mixer: allows you to create your own basic map, view maps and directions, and search existing maps (Free, web-based)
- ECAI – Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative online directory of cultural datasets with search and user contribution functions based on TimeMap.
- Evan Ratliff, “Google Maps Is Changing the Way We See the World,” Wired (June 26, 2007).
- Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History (Google Books), Franco Moretti. Published 2005.
Examples of Usage:
- PoliMap: Will Riley’s students gathered location data about politicians using a Google spreadsheet and mapped it on a Google Map
An interesting project hosted by Southampton in the UK and English Heritage – see the full website here. They’re hosting what looks to be a fascinating wee conference in October:
Visualisation In Context:
An Interplay of Practice and Theory
22 – 23 October 2009
Hosted by the University of Southampton
The 2009 VIA Workshop is designed to probe the intersections between theory (which might traditionally be represented in terms of critique – linear and written) and practice (which might increasingly be expressed in terms of production – non-linear and visual) within the field of archaeology as well as other disciplines from the humanities and the sciences.
Check out the VIA showcase:
|Online Research Showcase|
|Centred on the visualisation of data in both archaeology and the wider fields of the social sciences, arts, and science and technology studies. Like the bibliography, these summaries aim to link practitioners across disciplines, highlight innovative visual projects, and offer a platform for future planning and discussion of best practices around archaeological visual method and theory.|
|Archaeology and Community Museology: Ancient Egyptian Daily Life Scenes in Museums|
University of Southampton
|Choreographic Morphologies: Interdisciplinary Crossovers in the Use of Digital Visualisation Methods in Dance and Archaeology|
|Helen Bailey, Stuart Dunn, James Hewison, Martin Turner
King’s College London
University of Bedfordshire
University of Manchester
|Fractured Media: Challenging the Dimensions of Archaeology’s Typical Visual Modes of Engagement|
University of Southampton
|Framing Machu Picchu: Science, Photography and the Making of Patrimony|
University of Florida
|Imag(in)ing the Other at Dura-Europos|
Birkbeck College, University of London
|Institutionalising Images: Early Visualisation Networks in Aegean Archaeology|
University of Sheffield
|Interactive Panoramas and 3D Modelling Based on Panoramas|
|Karol Kwiatek, Martin Woolner, Simon Standing, Jes Martens
University of Plymouth, Institute of Creative and Cultural Industries
University of Oslo, Norway, Museum of Cultural History
|OKAPI Island in Second Life|
|Ruth Tringham, Noah Wittman, Colleen Morgan
University of California, Berkeley
|Pervasive Gaming, Education, and Cultural Heritage: Emplaced Interpretive Games at the Presidio of San Francisco|
|Ruth Tringham, Colleen Morgan
University of California, Berkeley
The Presidio Archaeology Lab
|Reflexive Representations: The Partibility of Archaeology|
|Andrew Cochrane, Ian Russell
University College Dublin
|Representing Prehistory: The Biographies of the Robenhausen Lake Dwelling Collections at the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (2008-2009)|
University of Cambridge
|SahulTime: Rethinking Archaeological Representation in the Digital Age|
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
|Strategies of Visualisation in German Archaeology, 19th-20th C|
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Humboldt University, Berlin
|The Archaeological Eye: Visualisation and the Disciplinary Foundations of British Archaeology|
University of Southampton
|The Gateway to Sarup|
|Niels H. Andersen, Maria Isenbecker, Camilla Bjarnø, Jan Solheim
Moesgård Museum, DenmarkSamsøgades Skole, Denmark
Supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Danish Ministry of Education
|The Remediated Places Project|
|Ruth Tringham, Michael Ashley, Steve Mills, Eric Blind, Jason Quinlan, Colleen Morgan
University of California, Berkeley
I’ve just come across a presentation (in three parts) given by David Rumsey, over a year ago. Worth a view!
“A talk given by David Rumsey at the March 6, 2008 launch of his historical map library and exhibition in the virtual world of Second Life. The talk was delivered at the Rumsey Map Islands in Second Life. All of the maps in the talk can also be seen and downloaded from Rumsey’s free online map library at www.davidrumsey.com“
Pm0g – the passive multiplayer online game – has gone in for some rebranding, calling itself ‘The Nethernet’.
I rather like the term, ‘nethernet’, as it implies a game played in some sort of metaspace outside (above/below/beside) the regular ol’ internet.
However, in the transition, Nethernet has lost some of the old steampunk aesthetic and charm that Pmog had – whereas before there were scrolls popping up inside your browser, and neo-victorian characters assaulting/assisting you, now there is the same-old same-old web2.0-ish vibe. No doubt the game runs better and is more secure this way, but I rather liked the old charm.
For old time’s sake, here are my missions made back in the Pmog 0.4 era (and rejigged to run under the new regime):
“How in the world can I find sources on the motivations of ancient Olympic athletes?? Maybe if you told me what to read, then I could answer the question.” read the email. The prof looked away from his computer, groaning inwardly. And no doubt, just parrot back to me a webpage, he thought. Why do students expect to be spoon-fed everything? “Follow me. First, let us search ‘ancient olympics’ properly. Where would you go first, O student at the University of Manitoba with its excellent library resources?’
New long range telescopes have identified a distant, inhabitable planet. There appears to have once been intelligent life…
Between 1867 and 1868, a tiny community at the north end of Salt Spring Island, populated by about 25 families, was the scene of three brutal and seemingly unconnected murders. But were they really unconnected? All of the victims were members of the island’s Black community and all of the murders were blamed on Aboriginal people. Two of the murders were officially unsolved. In the case of William Robinson, an all-White jury found an Aboriginal man, Tshuanahusset, guilty of killing the Black settler and sentenced him to death. Was Tshuanahusset guilty? Why was he convicted? If Tshuanahusset did not kill William Robinson, who did? (Great Canadian Mysteries, by John Lutz and Ruth Sandwell)
We must interfere in the public’s understanding in the past. Change it. Surprise, enlighten, destroy when necessary and rebuild a better, stronger, more curious and more passionate interest in what we do. This is my charge to myself and to other archaeologists and to anyone who wants to join us.
What are you doing to Participate?
Good question. What am I doing? At the very least, I hope that what I write in this blog rises to that challenge. Rob MacDougall, in his tribute to Digital History Hacks, writes
…one meta-idea which Bill [read his work now! - SG] taught me is that the loftiest questions about what we do are not separate from the nuts and bolts of how we do it. As above, so below: lofty philosophical issues are practical technical questions and vice versa. Change the tools available to the humanities and you have the opportunity to rethink what the humanities are.
That’s what I aspire to do. I try to find the leading edge of what’s happening in new media, tech, games, society at large, and I try to wonder, intelligently, about how these things intersect with archaeology. Sometimes, it’s archaeology at the edge, sometimes not. Bill is passionate about getting historians to do their own coding. Archaeologists should do the same. Moreover, Bill’s pushing the historians and the humanities people more generally to get into making the digital devices themselves:
In my new research program, I’m exploring ways to build historical interpretations into physical devices and environments. This work is backward looking, in the sense that it engages with the histories of measurement, materials science and machine tools. It is also very present-minded, since I am approaching the project as a form of critical technical practice, building on new developments in ubiquitous / pervasive computing and desktop fabrication. To support this work, I have put together a modest Lab for Humanistic Fabrication with an associated Fabrication Wiki.
Read the wiki. Let’s build something!
I don’t tweet.
However, like much else on the web, once the idea is out there, people have taken it and run with it. A round-up article from Wired discusses some of the interesting ways people have hacked the service, from a washing machine that tweets when its cycle is over, to house plants that tweet begging to be watered, to a fellow who can turn on his lights from his cell phone by tweeting his house.
An excavation/site/monument that tweeted if visited/disturbed after visiting hours? Hmm.
TweetNews takes Yahoo’s news results and compares them to emerging topics on Twitter, in effect using what’s most popular on Twitter as an index for determining the importance of news stories.
In other words, TweetNews uses Twitter to rank stories that are so new they may not have enough inbound links for algorithm-based ranking systems to prioritize them.
The result is a search engine mashup that tracks breaking news stories ranked by Twitter search results, offering faster updates, better relevance and more in-depth coverage than either source by itself.
In a blog post explaining the ideas behind TweetNews, Singh outlines the frustration many felt when searching for news on the Mumbai attacks: “Twitter messages were providing incredible focus on the important subtopics that had yet to become popular in the traditional media… what I found most interesting… was that news articles did exist on these topics, but just weren’t valued highly enough yet.”
So, here’s the TweetNews on Archaeology; and for those who have trouble with dipthongs, the TweetNews on Archeology . We have archaeological blog aggregators… should we be aggregating tweets too? Do you tweet? Why, and how can you extend it to something bigger/better?
The original post describing how the service works – and the source code!! – is here. Vingh concludes:
There’s something very interesting here … Twitter as a ranking signal for search freshness may prove to be very useful if constructed properly. Definitely deserves more exploration – hence this service, which took < 100 lines of code to represent all the search logic thanks to Yahoo! BOSS, Twitter’s API, and the BOSS Mashup Framework.
Results of my TweetNews search this morning: