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On Culture in a world-wide Information Society: from Multimedia Access to Europes Cultural Heritage to eCulture Alfredo M. Ronchi EC MEDICI Framework

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Presentation on theme: "On Culture in a world-wide Information Society: from Multimedia Access to Europes Cultural Heritage to eCulture Alfredo M. Ronchi EC MEDICI Framework"— Presentation transcript:

1 On Culture in a world-wide Information Society: from Multimedia Access to Europes Cultural Heritage to eCulture Alfredo M. Ronchi EC MEDICI Framework

2 Early attempts Since the early days of computing libraries and other memory institutions experimented the potential added value offered by computers. Sometimes they act as Bad Ambassadors

3 Apple ][ - 1977

4 Turning point 80 - Personal computers- Frank T. Cary

5 1984

6 1989 Virtual Reality Disclosure Monika Fleischmann – Wolfgang Strauss ART+COM 1990 – Virtual Metro Stop Ola Ødegård- - Telenor 1993 – Virtual Viking Village Infobyte Rome 1993 – Basilica Superiore Assisi

7 90 Cultural Entertainment / Edutainment Versailles 1685 (Cryo 1997) 300.000 copies sold Egypt 1156 BC Tomb of the pharaon (Cryo 1997) Byzantine: The Betrayal (Discovery channel Multimedia 1997) China the Forbidden City (Cryo 1998) Rome: Caesars Will (Montparnasse Multimedia 2002) Versailles 2 (Cryo 2002)

8 Nineties Super Information Highways – Al Gore Information Society – Martin Bangemann 1975 Email represents 75% Internet traffic Network islands (bitnet, decnet, ….MsNet, AppleShare ) 80 - Interconnetction TPC IP

9 Where the all thing started 1989 March 1989 Tim Berners Lee, a physician, wrote the first report on a hypertext system facilitating information sharing among different research groups. 1991 (6 August) the first http server is on line (Tim Berners-Lee & Robert Cailliau @ CERN) 1993 (30 April) web tech in public domain 1993 The first multi media browser Mosaic was born in 1993 at the University of Illinois (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, NCSA) thanks to the work of Marc Andressen and Eric Bina The first browsers implemented a simplified way to visit hypertextual links. Linking together pure texts. 1993 third World Wide Web Conference held in Darmstadt in 1993 saw the establishment of the general framework, thanks to the active contributions from the local Technical University and Fraunhofer IGD (FhG IGD), and the responsibility for management and future developments was assigned (under the acronym W3C) to the American association (NCSA) and the French INRIA. In that period of time, at INRIA in Sophia Antipolis, one of the well known researchers working on the Internet technology was Christian Huitema, he wrote a book recalling a famous movie: Et Dieu créa l'Internet. Some other pioneers were: Jean-François Abramatic and Bebo White - // // Christian Hutema personal web site:

10 The WEB revolution Web Tech developed at CERN Geneva 1992/93 (Tim Bernenrs- Lee, Marc Cailliau MOSAIC Browser: developed at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign beginning in late 1992. NCSA released the browser in 1993 (Marc Andreessen) A Bottom Up Revolution – the first time prosumers, user driven development The Internet represents one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research and development of information infrastructure. Beginning with the early research in packet switching, the government, industry and academia have been partners in evolving and deploying this exciting new technology.

11 WWW & Culture Track 1994 May – WWW1 - Geneva 1994 WWW2 Mosaic and the Web - Chicago 1995 WWW3 Darmstadt 1995 WWW4 Boston 1996 WWW5 Paris 1997 WWW6 Santa Clara 1998 WWW7 Brisbane 1999 WWW8 Toronto 2000 WWW9 Amsterdam 2001 WWW10 Hong Kong 2002 WWW2002 Honolulu 2003 WWW2003 Budapest 2004 WWW2004 New York 2005 WWW2005 Chiba...

12 1995 - European Commission Pilot Projects In February 1995, the European Commission organised the first meeting on the Information Society, in Brussels. During the meeting, a list of eleven pilot projects was approved: – Global Inventory (of projects) Global Interoperability Cross-Cultural Education and Training Bibliotheca Universalis Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage Environment Global Emergency Government Online Global Healthcare Global Marketplace for SMEs Maritime Information Systems. Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage

13 1995 - G7 Summit June 1995, a worldwide G7 Summit was held in Halifax, Canada. The G7 Group approved and adopted the above mentioned list of projects.

14 ISAD Conference 1996 May 1996 - As a consequence, practical demonstrations followed during the ISAD Conference (Information Society and Developing Countries) held in Midrand, South Africa. During this conference, four demo projects were selected, representing the four principal sections identified by the project Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage (Pilot Project 5) The four sections principally referred to the specific contents of museums and art galleries: 3D Acquisition (originally called Laser Camera), a laser camera presented by the National Research Council, Ottawa; Filing, of the History of Science Museum in Florence; Visualisation of the Nefertari Tomb, prepared by Infobyte, Rome; SUMS Navigation, prepared by SUMS Corporation, Toronto.

15 1996 European Commission Focusing on European initiatives, the combined initiatives led to the birth of a new framework of understanding. The reference document was largely a Declaration of Intent that was initially signed by 240 museums and institutions. In this context, there was the development of a likely organic approach to the use of multimedia and more generally of ICT in the field of cultural heritage. The Memorandum of Understanding for Multimedia Access to Europes Cultural Heritage, or more simply the MoU, is usually considered to be the Act of Incorporation for the Information Company on European Cultural Heritage.

16 eCulture Key SoftTech SGML Standard General Markup Language Web technology (in general) RDF Resurce Descriptor Format XML Extensible Markup Language Semantic Web Ontologies ….

17 eCulture: HardTech PCs Networks / Internet Remote sensing 2D / 3D scanners HiQ printers Hifi Displays Smart phones Tablets …..

18 The lesson we learned Alfredo M. Ronchi EC MEDICI Framework

19 As already summarized Computers have been around for about half a century and their social effects have been described under many headings. Society is changing under the influence of advanced information technology; we face fundamental transformations in social organisation and structure. Such a change is much more evident in the recent period of time. This even because young citizens are changing and the change is not smooth its a real discontinuity, young think different!

20 The experience Today, more than fifteen years after interactive virtual reality was first exploited, and more than twenty years after the explosion of the Internet, a wide range of technologies are on the shelf, a number of applications and services are available, so what is missing? What are the opportunities and the threats? Many relevant players in both the museum and ICT communities invested time and resources into creating pilot projects and applications ranging from 3-D reconstructions, image-based rendering, to virtual museums. We are now in a position to consider whether such investments are effectively useful and really do increase and promote knowledge of the arts, sciences and history, and whether they satisfy users requirements. Do virtual museums really provide added value to end-users? Are museums, content providers and users ready and willing to apply new technologies to cultural heritage? In the twenty-first century, the Information Society era, does the nineteenth centurys encyclopaedic approach to museums still survive? Do ICT tools really help content holders and/or end-users?

21 Evolution or revolution ? As we have already stated, digital communication is the most recent link in a long chain, which started with non-verbal communication and gestures, evolved into languages, signs and writing, and then developed into printing, broadcasting and other media and formats. Do we use digital communication in the best way? Just how much are we really exploiting the potential offered by digital media? Is multimedia simply the sum of different media, or is it more than this? Does virtual reality merely refer to navigation through digital replicas of the real world?

22 Some early time ideas Exploration and discovery of archaeological sites Enabling visualisation of non more existent or accessible artefacts Contextualisation of artefacts and content Virtual walkthrough Digital originals devoted to everyday use, reference, etc Virtual restoration Educational purposes ….

23 The human capital: the digital native generation All these considerations are related to technologies and devices what about the human capital. Of course even users are evolving, there are a number of capacity building initiatives, their own requirements and expectations are changing. New opportunities offered by emerging technologies generate new behaviours and new services simply think about mobile phones and emails. It is evident that a new way to use or consume services, information & news is coming to the fore. Technology is evolving toward a mature calm phase, users are overlapping more and more citizens and they consider technology and eServices as an everyday commodity, to buy a ticket, to meet a medical doctor, to pay taxes, to access weather forecast. The gap between eCitizens and digitally divided citizens did not disappear yet but is becoming smaller every day. In the near future young generations will not figure out how their parents use to fulfil some tasks in the past. Museums will exhibit phone booths, travel agencies, yellow pages, geographical maps, and fax machines and may be even laptops as relicts from the pre-digital age.

24 Recent Generations It is a common understanding that recent generations represent a discontinuity if compared with the past ones. Such discontinuity or if preferred singularity is recognised both by adults complaining because their children do not pay attention or are getting bored by learning and by adults that discovered new skills and capabilities in young generations. How do we identify a digital native? Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast. Their brain seems to be able to work in parallel to receive multiple inputs and react in real time even using different channels. This of course applies from pupils to university students and more. So they prefer direct/random access to information and content. Graphic and Video content are longer preferred than text. They use instant messaging and do not print email. They use to look for support on line and use to belong to one or more communities (users, supporters, owners,). This is a side effect of their special skills acquired in hours and hours of digital tasks. Young and kids are constantly feeding their own Facebook profiles or posting their own video clips on YouTube. Sometimes Facebook and YouTube seem to be much more (Social)life-mediators than Internet commodities. Young and kids are part of the digital community, they have a specific sense of belonging to the on line community.

25 Internet as a shared memory Is it true that pupils refer to the Web as their own memory and basic knowledge? We may say basically Yes even if this represents for many reasons a concern. Is information available on line quality proof? And more and more they really think: why do I need to memorize when Napoleon did surrender at Waterloo if I can click on Wikipedia or google it? The potential uniformity and consistence of digital interfaces enabled, by the virtualisation of physical interfaces, unleashed incredible potentials; the magic feature of undo empowered users. In the digital domain undo and redo are the pillars of learning by doing. Virtual and enriched reality through different types of simulators strengthened the historical approach of learning by doing. These two pillars together with the de facto standardisation of interfaces and interaction enabled rapid application training and use. Nowadays digital devices, and not only them, do not include users manuals, people use to learn by doing, only if they require special safety instructions there is an instruction sheet within the box. Digital natives prefer games to serious work; they prefer edutainment applications or serious games. E.g. IKEA furniture kits use to provide a very basic instruction sheet. In his work The Design of Everyday Things, Donald H. Norman defines mapping as the self-explicative shape or behaviour of an object. Mapping implies that... you always know which control does what (in the book, I call this a natural mapping). When the designers fail to provide a conceptual model, we will be forced to make up our own.... Furthermore: A good conceptual model can make the difference between successful and erroneous operation of the many devices in our lives. See Norman (1998).

26 The feeling The idea, but it is more than a feeling, is that in such a process digital natives lost some basic assets. Their own culture seems to be much more a set of bi-dimensional tiles sometimes interconnected. Direct access to information or even knowledge atoms may cause the lack of understanding of the whole rationale beyond including logical relations and links. So it becomes very difficult to build up a mental model or to activate reflection in order to evaluate and criticise what they learn. They miss the opportunity to elaborate what they learn by doing, their experience. Learning and working at warp speed does not provide them the opportunity to pause and assimilate, reconsider, amend or criticise what they are learning or doing. This is many times one of the basic drawbacks due to technological enhancements. Since the introduction of fax messages the expectation for an immediate response was the rule, emails, mobile phones, sms and instant messaging did the rest. So the evolution of the romantic fountain pen hand-writer nowadays is playing a video game and at the same time Twitting and posting some content on Facebook while chatting on the smart phone thanks to WhatsApp. The risk of misuse of such technologies and misinformation is probably higher than in the past. So it might happen that we will watch an updated version of the movie Wag the dog in the near future.

27 Thank you Большое спасибо Alfredo M. Ronchi EC MEDICI Framework

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