Workshop organised by LoCloud as part of Digital Heritage 2015

Workshop organised by LoCloud as part of Digital Heritage 2015, 28 Sept – 2 Oct 2015, Granada Spain
Overview
This workshop will share the results of the LoCloud project, and stimulate discussion and collaboration between curators, experts and stakeholders in digital libraries, cultural heritage, tourism and local communities. It will also showcase work in supporting small and medium sized cultural institutions in making their digitised collections discoverable online, via portals such as Europeana and other applications. The workshop will highlight:
  • Work with small and medium sized institutions to make their content discoverable within Europeana
  • Cloud-based computing services which are helping to put local heritage content online and make it more searchable and interoperable
  • Development of a variety of specialised microservices, including geographic location and map based services for local heritage
  • Support for communities and cultural tourism, by enabling local heritage to be included in mobile and other applications

Local and regional cultural institutions (museums, libraries, archives and heritage organizations) hold unique collections about the heritage and identity of local communities. These collections range from descriptions of local archaeological monuments, historic buildings, maps, images, local history archives, museum archives and documents relating to the crafts, industries and social history of local communities. Digitisation of collections is creating positive assets for supporting public interest, education, research, local conservation management and cultural tourism, but work remains to be done to help make the collections held by smaller institutions more widely available.Europeana (www.europeana.eu) is an online portal that provides access to millions of items of digitised material from European museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. Projects such as Europeana Local (www.europeanalocal.eu) and CARARE (www.carare.eu) have worked with local heritage institutions to help to establish ‘pipelines’ to enable them to make their collections available to Europeana’s growing user base. The LoCloud Best Practice Network (www.locloud.eu) has continued this effort, aiming to explore the potential of cloud-based computing and technical advances to develop services that are specifically designed to support local cultural institutions in making their digital content available online.

Presentations from the workshop are available on the website.

Agenda

Introduction
10:00 – 10:15 LoCloud: Local content in the Europeana Cloud
Kate Fernie, 2Culture Associates, United Kingdom
Technology Case Study
10:15 – 10:30 Geolocation LoGeo API tool
Franc Zakrajsek, Zavod za varstvo kulturne dediščine
(Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia)
National and Regional Case Studies
10:30 – 10:45 Magic lantern slides and 3D PDFs: working with diverse content providers
Louise Kennedy, The Discovery Programme, Ireland
10:45 – 11:00 Romanian digital collections in Europeana
Sorina Stanca, Biblioteca Judeţeană O.Goga Cluj (Cluj County Library O.Goga), Romania
11:00 – 11:30 Break
Technology Case Study
11:30 – 11.45 Dynamics and partnership with local associations involved in LoCloud: a study case with Gironde
Agnès Vatican, Conseil Général de la Gironde – Archives Départementales de la Gironde, France
11:45 – 12:00 Czech digital collections from the archaeology and architecture domain in Europeana
Irena Blazkova, Národní památkový ústav (National Heritage Institute), Czech Republic
12:00 – 12:15 Balkan LoCloud Experience
Jasmina Ninkov and Predrag Djukic, Biblioteka grada Beograda (Belgrade City Library), Serbia
12:15 – 12:30 The cultural challenge in Umbria: local institutions growing up in the cloud
Giulia Coletti and Claudia Pazzini, Fondazione Ranieri di Sorbello, Italy
LoCloud and Communities
12:30 – 12:45 LoCloud Support for communities and cultural tourism
Silvia Alfreider, National Archives of Norway
12:45 – 13:00 LoCloud: What’s in it for me?
Henk Alkemade,Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (Cultural Heritage Agency), The Netherlands
13:00 – 13:30 Concluding Remarks and Discussion
Holly Wright, Archaeology Data Service, United Kingdom

LoCloud training videos

Last November the LoCloud team were at the Polish National Supercomputing Center (PSNC) in Poznań delivering a training workshop for project partners.  We held the workshop there because PSNC has a professional Television recording studio and our trainers were to become the stars of LoCloud’s training videos!

VideoTraining

Each of the presenters at the workshop were asked to deliver their tutorials twice: once for the attendees of the workshop, and then in the television studio where they were recorded for the video. The set-up allowed both the presenter and what he was demonstrating on the computer to be captured.  Following the recording the signals were professionally mixed to produce the final videos.

All of the videos are available on our support portal: http://support.locloud.eu/ and are also included in our online training course.  The videos cover:

  • LoCloud MORe Aggregator
  • LoCloud Collections
  • LoCloud MINT Metadata Mapping Service
  • LoCloud Vocabulary Services
  • LoCloud Geocoding Application
  • LoCloud Historic Place Name Service
  • LoCloud Support Mechanisms

View Videos

Launching the LoCloud competition

The LoCloud competition is underway!

Are you a curator or volunteer from a local cultural institution, a local historian or student? Have you used Europeana to explore your interests in local heritage? Then why not share your story in a web page, a blog or a short video and enter the My Local History strand of our competition.

My Local History is being promoted across Europe by our partners who have set up websites to encourage entries from people within their countries. Its focus is on local heritage and culture, so we anticipate entries in many languages with some great visual resources!  You can find out more about the competition “in your country” on the Competition pages of the project website.  Winners of each national competition will be nominated to the international jury with a chance of winning a tablet computer and attending our final project event.  We will publicise all the winning entries via LoCloud and Europeana #mylocalhistory.

Are you a developer, aggregator or cultural institutions using LoCloud services and applications? Have you used LoCloud Collections to create an exhibition?  Are you using the LoCloud APIs for your application?  Then why not showcase your results in the My LoCloud Services strand of our competition with the chance of winning a smart watch #mylocloudservices .

The finalists will be invited to present their entries at the LoCloud final event, which will be held in Amersfoort, Netherlands on 5th February 2016.  All short-listed entries will be promoted on the LoCloud website.

Competition Information

LoCloud is launching an international competition focussing on local heritage and culture.  The competition has two strands:

  • My Local Heritage – invites people to explore a favourite place or part of their local history through Europeana and to present their experience online in webpages, a blog or video.
  • My LoCloud Services – invites developers, aggregators and individual cultural institutions to showcase their use of LoCloud services.

The finalists will be invited to present their entries at the LoCloud final event, which will be held in Amersfoort, Netherlands on 5th February 2016.

We attended the LoCloud Hackathon

Aleksandra Nowak, Team Leader, Data Aggregation and Enrichment Team, PSNC
writes:
On 11 February 2015 we participated in the LoCloud Hackathon in Paris, France. The event took place at the Google Cultural Institute. This gave us the opportunity to find out what Google is working on in the cultural heritage preservation domain. We could learn a lot about Google Art Project and see the its art pieces on an amazing gigapixel screen.
IMG_0557
Hackathon in progress at the Google Cultural Institute
At the beginning of the event all the participants were introduced to the LoCloud project. LoCloud representatives showed us its components and introduced us to the API of the LoCloud services. They also explained how to use the MORE aggregator and its API.The lunch break gave us  a chance to meet the other participants and talk over our project ideas for the hackathon. We started to work after lunch.
We decided to work in a team of three participants from PSNC – Mateusz Matela,  Aleksandra Nowak and Artur Pecyna – to share responsibilities and use the short time available as much effectively as possible. Our project was called LoTrips and we wanted to utilise geo-localisation data accessible in LoCloud’s collections.
The main idea was to create an application where users could see some objects from LoCloud collections on a map, choose the objects that are most interesting to them and filter them using additional criteria. The application would then create a route between these points as a proposition for sightseeing trips in real life.
We thought this could be a good tool to show the geographical or historical context of objects stored in LoCloud libraries and museums. Cultural institutions would also be able to choose the objects they want to promote using LoTrips, present the maps on their web pages or even organise trips for their users.We started our work with downloading the data using the MORE API. The data was indexed using Solr, to enable the creation of search queries and faceting on it.
The following stage was to access the data stored in Solr via its HTTP API and then show it on a map using Google Maps API. An example route is shown on the picture below.

 

IMG_0575

Aleksandra Nowak presenting at the Hackathon

Unfortunately the time for “hacking” was quite limited and we could not implement all the functionalities that we aimed to. However, we believe that a further development of this application will be quite easy since the main points have been developed. We also think that the tool for indexing the data into Solr might be integrated into the MORE workflow so that the data would automatically appear in the index.

After the coding was finished we presented our idea to the jury and to the other participants.The jury made its choice and the winning project was announced.

Several teams of developers took part in the hackathon. Most of them focused on extending the MORE aggregator. In particular, they presented a community extension for the MORE aggregator that instantly shows tasks performed by other users, a plugin which could move cultural objects closer to social media, an idea for integrating MORE with a cloud sourcing platform that improves geolocalization metadata, and the winning project – a metadata validator where users can define specific rules to check the validity of their metadata.

As a general suggestion, it would be good to extend the duration of future hackathons by a few hours or even a couple of days. This would allow us to present not just a prototype but possibly a working application.

We had great fun at the LoCloud Hackathon. It gave us the opportunity to find out more about the project and to work with new tools and APIs. It was a great experience for us and we look forward to taking part in future LoCloud hackathon.

 

Hackathon winner!

MoRe Quality by Vangelis Banos (Future LIbrary – Greece) is the winning prototype application of the LoCloud hackathon which took place on the 11th of February 2015 at the premises of the Google Cultural Institute in Paris, France.The hackathon was organised by LoCloud and Europeana in the context of EuropeanaTech 2015.

Image of Vangelis Banos at the Google culture institute
Vangelis Banos winner of the Locloud hackathon
Vangelis Banos, winner of the LoCloud Hackathon

Concept

The Metadata & Object Repository (MoRe) is an easy and powerful tool to aggregate information and harvest metadata from multiple sources in multiple schemas. Such aggregation schemas usually create problematic situations regarding the quality of the harvested metadata.

Metadata may pass the standard Europeana XML validity tests but they may include problematic metadata values. For instance:

* a dc:date value could be formatted in the wrong way:

<dc:date>approximately 18th century</dc:date>

This format is not correct according to established date formats.

*  an author name could be incomplete according to bibliographic standards.

Example: <dc:creator>Mike</dc:creator>.

* a URL may be invalid. E.g.: <ese:isShownAt>http://invalidurl.com/error-url</ese:isShownAt>

The aim of the MoRe Quality tool is to implement a validation system which could be able to catch these errors and produce useful reports to the collection administrators.

MoRe Quality application –The prototype functionality

MoRe Quality communicates with the LoCloud MoRe instance using a specific user API Key, retrieves the ingested metadata and performs evaluations to identify common errors such as:

* Invalid date formats (ISO 8601 standard)

* Invalid hyperlinks

* Invalid language codes (ISO 639 standard)

* Invalid author names

The results are presented to the user in a simple report.

The application is implemented in such a way that enables developers to add extra evaluation rules in an easy and intuitive way by implementing simple functions – plugins.

Technical information

MoRe Quality is implemented using linux and python 2.7.

Some common python modules are utilised:

* Virtual environments

* Flask

* Python Requests

* BeautifulSoup4

* pycountry

* iso8601

The prototype is not currently running on a production server but the full source code freely available at: https://bitbucket.org/vbanos/more-quality/

Anyone interested in MoRe Quality should feel free to contact the author for more information.