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Projecting Europeana archive data through the 3D ‘ECloud’

projectiondesign® sponsors Europeana initiative to drive creative use of open data

Norway’s projectiondesign® is delighted to announce that it has become a headline sponsor of the Europeana General Plenary, to be held in the Belgian city of Leuven from 13-15 June.

Adopting the theme ‘Connecting Society Through Culture’, the Europeana plenary aims to showcase innovative approaches to digitised content, inspire new ideas among its attendees, and to connect people and concepts so that those new ideas are realised. The event is expected to attract around 250 professionals from cultural heritage institutions, the open data community, and the software and technology development industries.

Caption: Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kros explores Europeana

42113873 Watch the video at http://vimeo.com/42113873.

A key attraction at the Europeana plenary will be the ECloud – a unique visual experience featuring personal stories of World War I collected across Europe as part of Europeana’s 1914-18 family history roadshows. As part of its event sponsorship, projectiondesign will supply six F35 AS3D active stereoscopic 3D projectors to power the ECloud – creating a 9m x 3m interactive videowall that enables the browsing and display of multiple web pages simultaneously.

Pioneered by Dr Sarah Kenderdine and Prof Jeffrey Shaw, the ECloud is a collaboration between Europeana, City University Hong Kong’s Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment, and Australia’s Museum Victoria. The work builds on the large-screen 3D data visualizations being undertaken at City University Hong Kong’s ALiVE project, advancing the way that ALiVE re-uses archival databases coming directly from the internet.

“The purpose of this project is to provide both audiences and participating cultural organizations a renewed appreciation of the wealth of the Europeana datasets online,” comments Sarah Kenderdine.

“It focuses on World War I materials as a front-running project to the 2014 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. The project demonstrates that using the semantic relationships in existing metadata, ECloud can take advantage of Europeana APIs and the high-resolution content existing in Europeana partner repositories – in a public exhibition setting.

“3D allows us to re-define 2D data into a dynamic visualizations, increasing both appeal of the data and cognitive impact of the large format images distributed in 3D space. Such visualization strategies continue to hint at the endless permutations available to the user in a way that 2D designs cannot.

“We believe projectiondesign is the perfect partner for a project like the ECloud, because their 3D projector solutions, hardware architectures for edge-blending, and geometry correction for large-scale, multi-projector arrays are the most robust and reliable out there. We work exclusively with projetiondesign.”

Prior to the Europeana plenary, the ECloud made its public debut at a major event in Brussels on Wednesday 9 May. Hosted jointly by Europeana and the European Commission, the event is intended to raise awareness of Europeana’s rich resources and to demonstrate how Europe’s online cultural heritage can drive creativity and digital innovation. The event will be attended by around 100 stakeholders from cultural institutions and the creative industries.

“Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe,” explains Harry Verwayen, Business Development Manager, Europeana. “It is an authoritative source of information coming from European cultural and scientific institutions.

“What I like about the ECloud installation we’ve created is that it transforms flat representations of cultural artifacts into a real experience. It is truly innovative approach and we are very happy about how it worked out.”

“The cultural significance of 3D and interactive visualization technology have always been important for us at projectiondesign,” says the company’s Thierry Ollivier. “Supplying projectors to the ECloud is not just about putting our name in front of Europe’s creative community; it is about opening people’s eyes – quite literally – to the possibilities opened up by the digitisation of archive content, and by the public’s open access to that content.

“We are delighted to have this chance to be associated with the ECloud and with the Europeana project generally.”

www.projectiondesign.com

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