Historian’s Macroscope- how we’re organizing things

How do you coordinate something as massive as a book project, between three authors across two countries? Writing is a bit like sausage making. I write this, thinking of Otto von Bismarck, but Wikipedia tells me: Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. As quoted in University Chronicle. University of Michigan (27 March 1869) books.google.de, Daily Cleveland Herald (29 March 1869), McKean Miner (22 April 1869), and “Quote… Misquote” by Fred R. Shapiro in The New York Times (21 July 2008); similar remarks have long been attributed to Otto von Bismarck, … Continue reading Historian’s Macroscope- how we’re organizing things

Fantastic PhotoFly: 3d Scanning for the Rest of Us

I’ve been amazed for some time by what can be achieved with LIDAR, a game engine, and a bit of processing power. A few years ago, Digital Urban posted a series of tutorials for getting architectural models from Sketchup or 3d Max into the Oblivion game engine, as a way for exploring built space. I was always blown away by that. The issue I had was in getting the 3d model created in the first place. Enter PhotoFly, from Autodesk. PhotoFly is currently free, and it works magic. It transforms your computer and digital camera into a 3d scanner. You … Continue reading Fantastic PhotoFly: 3d Scanning for the Rest of Us

HeritageCrowd.org: crowdsourcing cultural heritage

I have a small summer project running, using the Ushahidi and Omeka platforms for crowdsourcing local history, called HeritageCrowd. I have two Carleton University undergraduate students, Guy Massie and Nadine Feuerherm helping me with this; we’re blogging the experience here. Please check us out; comments & critiques (and submissions, of course!) are most welcome. Guy writes, This project, headed by Professor Shawn Graham and students Nadine Feuerherm and Guy Massie at Carleton University, rethinks the way that people share and interact with local history and heritage. Through the use of a number of technologies such as text messaging, voice mail, … Continue reading HeritageCrowd.org: crowdsourcing cultural heritage

Of Hockey, Sympathetic Magic, and Digital Dirt

We won tickets to see the Ottawa – Tampa Bay game on Saturday night. 100 level. Row B. This is a big deal for a hockey fan, since those are the kind of tickets that are normally not within your average budget. More to the point of this post, it put us right down at ice level, against the glass. Against the glass!!! Normally we watch a hockey game on TV, or from up in the nose-bleeds. From way up there, you can see the play develop, the guy out in the open (“pass! pass! pleeeease pass the puck!” we … Continue reading Of Hockey, Sympathetic Magic, and Digital Dirt

Google Goggles: Augmented Reality

Time was, if you wanted some augmented reality, you had to upload your own points of interest into something like Wikitude or Layar. However, in its quest for world domination, Google seems to be working on something that will render those services moot: Google Goggles (silly name, profound implications). As Leonard Low says on the MLearning Blog: The official Google site for the project (which is still in development) provides a number of ways Goggles can be used to accomplish a “visual search”, including landmarks, books, contact information, artwork, places, logos, and even wine labels (which I anticipate could go … Continue reading Google Goggles: Augmented Reality

Civil War Augmented Reality Project

Over on Kickstarter, I’ve come across the ‘Civil War Augmented Reality Project‘.  I can imagine many ways of incorporating a bit of AR/VR on an historic site, and I think what these folks are proposing is eminently doable. It’s easy to get caught up in the tech side of such projects, so their focus on the end user is laudable. From their project page: The Civil War Augmented Reality Project was conceived by several public educators with technology experience and a desire to offer more interactivity to students and the general public visiting historic sites. The objective of the project … Continue reading Civil War Augmented Reality Project

Second Site: Keith Challis’ work on archaeological visualization

I learned this morning of Keith Challis’ blog, ‘Second Site‘. Keith is a researcher with Birmingham University’s ‘Visual and Spatial Technology Center’. Keith is exploring ways of using game engines to render & explore archaeological landscapes (a great use of LIDAR if ever I saw one).  In a recent post, ‘Ideas of Landscape‘ he writes, One of the key ideas behind using computer games to visualise archaeological landscapes is that they take us away from the god-like view from above that typical computer-based visualisation provides.  In Ideas of Landscape, Matthew Johnson reflects on the dichotomy between the romantic, Wordsworthian view … Continue reading Second Site: Keith Challis’ work on archaeological visualization

The Streets of London – iphone app

Have you seen the old man In the closed-down market Kicking up the paper, with his worn out shoes? In his eyes you see no pride And held loosely at his side Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news So how can you tell me you’re lonely, And say for you that the sun don’t shine? Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London I’ll show you something to make you change your mind –Ralph McTell The Museum of London – always at the forefront in museology & archaeology – has released an iPhone app … Continue reading The Streets of London – iphone app