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!


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

New online training courses from LoCloud

We are happy to inform you that new online training courses are now available from LoCloud.

These courses are part of our ongoing commitment to assisting smaller cultural heritage institutions in adding setting up their digital repositories, adding their content to Europeana and using LoCloud’s technologies.  They aim to offer participants a rich, well-structured means of familiarizing themselves with the various tools and services.

In total three courses are available via LoCloud’s E-Learning Portal.  The courses are all free to use but we ask users to register to take part in the self assessment quizzes and interactive elements. The courses are:

LoCloud services and tools: This course focusses on the software tools and micro-services that the project has developed with the aim of simplifying the process of providing content to Europeana including LoCloud Collections, MINT, MORe, Vocabulary management and the enrichment microservices.

Cooperaton with Europeana: This course is for those who want to prepare their existing repository for cooperation with Europeana, and is an updated version of a course originally produced for the AccessIT/AccessITPlus projects.

Digital repositories for small memory institutions: This course covers digitisation activities for small memory institution including how to prepare content for publication on-line and how to describe digital objects in metadata.

Each of the courses is divided into topics with self-assessment quizzes for users to test their understanding of what they have learnt as they work through.  The courses are currently available in English.

The training courses are part of the LoCloud Support Portal which includes user and technical documentation, a question and answer forum, and a set of training videos.

View e-learning courses

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
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.
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.



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.


Creative Commons licenses: how to use them

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organisation that enables the sharing of creative works, through a set of free to use licenses which enable organisations to modify their copyright terms to best suit their needs.

Europeana greatly encourages cultural institutions to use Creative Commons licenses as a tool to open up their collections.

One third of the content you can find in Europeana is ‘open’. This means that the material is either in the public domain and free from any copyright restrictions, or the rights holder has made the material available using one of the two open Creative Commons licenses (CC BY and CC BY-SA).

Currently nine million objects are licensed using one of the six licenses provided by Creative Commons. However, there is also a lot of misuse of these licenses. CC licenses can be applied only by the rights holder in the first place or by an institution holding a permission from the rightsholder.

Read the full article on the Europeana Pro Blog and access the CC report.