Luke Dearnley & Sebastian Chan — Culture + citizens + digital heritage

Web Directions South 2011, Sydney, October 13th.

Session description

In the last few years people have started talking about something called ‘digital humanities’ outside of academia. The term ‘curator’ is even being loosely talked about as a ‘future job description’ — despite its long history and roots in the museum world. And in museums, archives and libraries all over the world technologists are talking and building linked open data projects, SPARQL endpoints, huge crowdsourced digitisation and citizen science projects, not to mention mobile and social experiences, AR, QR, that fluidly move between the physical and the digital. Not only that, they’re not hiding this work behind patent lawsuits, NDAs and commercial-​​in-​​confidence backroom deals.

What exactly is going on here and how might you, as developers and web thinkers, start to explore some of what they have to offer. And, perhaps selfishly, how can you prototype, test and solve your own technical problems using their data and use their unique physical environments as a living laboratory for your own products and projects?

In a fireside chat, Seb and Luke from the Powerhouse Museum will talk candidly about some of the current challenges and future directions in this space — and how you might be able to help.

About Luke Dearnley

Photo of Luke DearnleyLuke Dearnley is the Web Manager at the Powerhouse Museum where he previously worked as a developer. In his time at the museum he has been involved with improvements to the online collection including the automatic semantic mining of over 75,000 object descriptions using the Reuter’s Open Calais service, automated deployment of images to the Flickr Commons, and construction of the Museum’s collection API. In more recent years he has weathered the rise in workload as the department has begun making mobile Apps as well as websites. Insert witty insight into personal life here.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @LukeSnarl

About Sebastian Chan

Photo of Sebastian ChanSebastian Chan leads the Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies department at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Beyond the Powerhouse he also helps other organisations internationally strategize and implement cutting edge technologies in the cultural sector. Seb was also a member of the Australian Government’s Government 2.0 Taskforce examining ways of improving citizen engagement with government and opening access to public sector information. Seb writes the popular Fresh & New(er) blog in the museum world, and leads a parallel life in electronic music and art as editor-​​in-​​chief of Cyclic Defrost Magazine. He likes sticky dessert wines and high grade dark chocolate.

Follow Sebastian on Twitter: @sebchan

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