Archive for the 'Digital Excursions' Category

Visit to the Institute of Making

By Claire L H Warwick, on 1 April 2014

We are very lucky to have an Institute of Making at UCL. I often walk past its impressive glass front, peer at the collection of things on shelves that can be seen inside, and wonder what on earth they are and what goes on in there. So I was delighted when a group of us from UCLDH were invited to visit and talk about things we have in common with the IoM, and what we might do together. We met the director, Mark Miodownik and Zoe Laughlin, the creative director, who told us about what the institute does. Oddly enough, it’s all about making things, but the kind of things people can make seem to be almost limitless. It’s not just about techie things such as 3D printing: members can indulge in anything that interests them, from farriery to knitting. It turns out that the enticing-looking things on shelves form the materials library: a collection of ‘some of the most extraordinary materials on earth’ as the IoM webpage puts it.

We talked about what kind of things we UCLDH people like to make. Simon was interested in the large, impressive-looking machines, but he was once an engineer. Julianne discussed digital narratives and how people understand spaces and materials both in physical and digital worlds. Claire Ross thought about how the use of the materials library might relate to her PhD work on museum spaces and digital interpretation. Steve talked about some of the cool things that CASA do in terms of making as well as digital, and we mused on future potential for various kinds of collaboration.

In general it was a fascinating visit. We didn’t actually make anything while we were there apart from an important intellectual connection, but I certainly came away with a much clearer sense of what goes on inside that intriguing space.

Digital Excursion: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

By Christina Kamposiori, on 31 May 2013

Last Thursday saw our digital excursion to the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). It was a great event where the researchers from CASA introduced us to the very interesting and diverse work conducted at the centre.

CASA’s research focuses on smart cities and the production of new knowledge that can be used in city planning, policy and design by using innovative methods & technologies. Their work draws especially on the latest geospatial methods and ideas in computer-based visualisation and modelling.

During our visit, guests were split into two groups and had the opportunity to learn more information about the projects undertaken by CASA as well as to enjoy a guided tour of the interactive exhibits available at the centre. The mini presentations prepared by the researchers regarding the projects they currently work on soon unveiled the interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary focus of the research conducted at CASA and the expertise the centre contained.

CASA’s diverse research ranged from projects modelling the migration flows between cities in Europe to projects utilizing data from archaeological sites to model retail systems in middle Bronze and Iron Age. One of their latest projects was part of the Something Else for The Weekend which recently took place at UCL. The aim of the project was to map, with the use of new technologies, one of the literary routes described in the graphic novel “From Hell”, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s fictionalisation of Jack the Ripper.

Regarding the exhibits, the absolute highlight was the Pigeon Sim which allows you to fly over London’s landmarks and at the same time cross various data feeds, such as real-time tweets or travel information, as they go. The other exhibits were also based on representations of real London-related data in a combination of physical and digital formats. The London Data Table, for example, showed real time data regarding e.g. bicycle hire usage or live traffic updates projected onto a London shaped table.

Below are some photos from the event:

UCLDH: James Cronin presents No “radical new beginning”: DH and SoTL

By Julianne Nyhan, on 7 November 2012

UCLDH is pleased to announce the following lecture by James Cronin on 13th December 2012 at 17:30.

Lecture: No “radical new beginning”: How can Digital Humanities benefit from engagement with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning community?

Speaker: James G. R. Cronin, University College Cork, Ireland

Abstract: In this presentation, James Cronin, an Ionad Bairre Fellow in Teaching
and Learning at University College Cork, will initially survey some
current uses of the definition “digital pedagogy” by the digital
humanities community. He will then critique histories and applications
of this definition and he will conclude this talk by suggesting
alternative ways of representing digital pedagogy with reference to
work in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), which is
steadily growing as an international community of reflective
practitioners in higher education.

Venue: Room G31 Foster Court, Gower St, WC1E 6BT London; followed by a
reception in the Arts and Humanities Common Room, Foster Court at 18:30

Please register for a place here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/4703336807

UCL: The week in digital humanities events

By Rudolf Ammann, on 7 February 2011

We’ve been working on the UCLDH Events section. New and improved, the section now offers a chronological view of upcoming events and sports separate feeds for the individual event series: Decoding Digital Humanities, Painless Introductions and Digital Excursions. UCLDH events will no longer be announced here on the DH blog but event reminders will continue, and weekly batches might be one way of posting such reminders.

Without further ado, here’s the week’s programme:

Both events are held in Bloomsbury, they’re open to the public, they’re free of charge, and we hope to see you there!

Digital Excursion: Growing Knowledge at the British Library

By Claire S Ross, on 26 October 2010

Last night saw UCLDH’s first digital excursion of the new term.  We had an afterhours look at the “Growing Knowledge: The evolution of research” exhibition at the British Library.

The exhibition aims to demonstrate the vision for future digital research services at the British Library.  Digital research tools are changing the possibilities of research, extending the boundaries and providing new dynamic ways of interacting with information, yet this poses some challenging questions: How will increasing and complex amounts of data be managed and visualised in the future?  What does this mean for libraries– formerly the ‘gatekeepers’ of research information? Critically, are researchers taking full advantage of the technologies now available for research purposes?  These are important research questions which are the basis of our work at UCLDH.

We had a guided tour of some of the features, and then were able to play with research stations and try out innovative and cutting edge tools and technologies designed to enhance research.

Some highlights included:

  • The Sony RayModeler a 360 autostereoscopic display showing a selection of uses gesture controls, and the display is motion sensitive, so just by holding your hand near the device or by moving around the exhibit, you can control the movement of the image, spinning it left or right to get a better look.
  • A Microsoft Surface Table containing a digital version of the world’s longest painting, the 19th century Garibaldi Panorama.  4½ feet (1.4 metres) high, painted on both sides and 273 feet (83 metres) long, as you can imagine the painting poses huge challenges for viewing and research in its physical form. Using the virtual version, researchers are able to gather around the surface table, scroll the entire panorama and expand, extract and zoom in on detail.
  • The Tweet-O-Meter, designed by our colleagues over at CASA.  The Tweet-O-Meter displays real-time tweeting levels in 9 major cities of the world. It measures the amount of tweets from various locations across the world, updating them every second to give a real time view of Tweets per Minute for each location.
  • An animated video wall with interviews with leading experts in the field of digital research.

A major component of the Growing Knowledge exhibition will be evaluating the tools and services on display. Our colleague Pete, part of the Ciber Research Group, will be asking visitors to leave their feedback either at the exhibition or online to voice their views and indicate their interest in future discussions. The Library will also hold discussion groups to explore some of the issues in more depth, for example: How do physical spaces support digital research? Do any of the tools the Library is showcasing help with some of the research problems they encounter? If you would like to be involved in this let us know!

Digital Excursion: Growing Knowledge Exhibition

By Sarah Davenport, on 15 October 2010

We are pleased to invite you to the next UCL Digital Excursion, which will take place at the British Library on 25 October, 5.30 – 7.30 pm.

By joining this Excursion, you will be the first to experience the “Growing Knowledge: The evolution of research” exhibition – an initiative designed to demonstrate the vision for future digital research services at the British Library. The Excursion will introduce you to a number of features, including digital signage, video demonstrations, interactive welcome animations, an interface touch-table and a prototype “Researcher’s Desktop” application. You will be able to sample each of the tools and applications presented, including some of the latest creations by Microsoft and Hewlett Packard.

The exhibition explores the value of libraries and research in present and future digital times, the use of social networks and social media, and asks questions about the inter-relations and synergies between research and technology.

The programme will be as follows:

  • 17.30: one of the curators from the British Library will give an introductory talk about the exhibition.
  • 18.00: hands-on time for you to explore the exhibition and try out the digital facilities.
  • 18.30: Event closure, with possibility to chat on if you wish.

Refreshments will be provided.

Please note that the CIBER group at UCL is evaluating the exhibition for the British Library, and a researcher, Peter Williams, will hope to informally interview as many people as possible, either at the event or at a later date, about your experiences.

If you wish to attend, please register and bring the printout of the invitation with you on the day. We will be meeting you outside the British Library.

Digital Excursion: Institute of Archaeology quick review

By Claire S Ross, on 10 June 2010

Tuesday night saw our digital excursion to the Institute of Archaeology .  It was a great event looking at four different elements of archaeology that utilise digital technology and in particular to see expertise that the Institute contains.  Guests were split into small groups to view the showscases below:

  • The Institute of Archaeology holds an extensive teaching collections of artefactual material, including artefacts from prehistoric Europe, the ancient Near East, Egypt, the Americas and beyond. We had the pleasure of  handling some very exciting objects, in particular a really nice piece from Olduvai Gorge!  the Institute also has a collections database which they are looking to expand.
  • We also had the opportunity to examine  plant material from one of the world’s finest botanical collections. Personally I’m not very good at looking throught through microscopes I end up squinting through one eye.  It was really good to see all the work that goes into the analysis of archaeological botanical remains and how they are utilisng digital cameras and live streaming.
  • We also looked at a 3D documentation project at World Heritage Site Merv in collaboration with CyArk. You can read more about the project here
  • We also saw Digital photographic equipment used in archaeology,  where we discussed the importance of photography in teaching and research, and the transition from analogue to digital techniques, as well as dicussing photgraphy platforms.

Some images from the event (sorry for the low quality – the iphone was all we had to hand).

Digital Excursion: Institute of Archaeology

By Claire S Ross, on 1 June 2010

Date: Tuesday 8th June

Time: 17:30 to 19:30

Location: the Leventis Gallery, Ground Floor, UCL Institute of Archaeology (map)

The UCL Centre for Digital Humanities is pleased to announce its second Digital Excursion. Following the highly successful Excursion to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, this next event will take place at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Digital Excursions provide an opportunity for UCL staff, students and their guests to visit a UCL department that has specialist equipment and expertise of relevance to the field of digital humanities. Excursions typically involve a short talk given by a specialist from the host department accompanied by a chance to look over interesting bits of kit and research materials, and for those attending to discuss the opportunities that the gadgetry and skills presented may provide for collaborative project development in the area of digital humanities.

The following four projects will be showcased:

  • The study of botanical remains using microscopes and digital cameras and discussion of the problems of scanning small scale objects. Guests will have the opportunity to examine through microscopes plant material from one of the world’s finest botanical collections.
  • Digital photographic equipment used in archaeology, with discussion of the transition from analogue to digital techniques in teaching and research. Guests will examine a recently ‘re-discovered’ collection of photographic plates in need of digitisation.
  • The Institute of Archaeology Collections, including artefacts from prehistoric Europe, the ancient Near East, Egypt, the Americas and beyond. Guests will have the rare opportunity to handle objects and discuss the potential for collaborative development of artefact digitisation projects and expansion of the online catalogue.
  • Digital preservation of the ancient world heritage site of Merv in collaboration with CyArk. Guests will learn about this ancient city which lies beneath the Karakum desert, and its documentation using long range 3D laser scanning.

Project showcasing will be followed by a wine reception in the Leventis Gallery where guests will have the opportunity to network with each other, speak further with the various presenters, and meet other members of the Institute of Archaeology.

Book a place on this Digital Excursion: Institute of Archaeology

Digital Excursion #1 Petrie Museum

By Claire S Ross, on 10 March 2010

Last night saw the first of the UCLDH digital excursions, at the  Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology .

UCLDH’s digital excursions are an opportunity to visit UCL departments that have specialist equipment and expertise of use to the field of digital humanities giving people a chance to look over interesting bits of kit and discuss the possibilities the gadgetry and skills presented provide to the field of digital humanities. So, last night we looked at the Petrie Museums use of 3D scanning in the museum environment..

The Petrie looks amazing, and it is stuffed full with artefacts dating back 5,000 years. Every available space is filled with a multitude of objects, so much that you cant take it all in, in one go. It’s overwhelming just how many artefacts there are in such a small space! over 80,000 objects in fact.

This hidden museum holds one of the world’s greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology, ranging over 7000 years from prehistory through Pharaonic to Islamic times.  The Petrie is committed toward public accessibility for its collection, particularly via online access; the entire collection of 80,000 objects is now online with images, which has led to several projects to digitise Egyptian collections in small UK museums  The museum also has a Digital Egypt teaching resource. Now they are working in partnership on 3D Encounters, with the Ireland-based multimedia company IET (Íomhánna Éigipteach Teoranta) to develop high-end 3D scanning, modelling and presentational resources. Its a really interesting project and the webiste is quite fun.

The project has only just started, but the kit is pretty cool.  The aim is to digitally record themed selections of objects and make them more accessible by telling their ‘stories’. The project will also digitally recreate some of the more rare & fragile artefacts, replicated for public handling and as a means of monitoring decay. There is something really compelling about being able to manipulate digital objects and being able to learn more about them in such a tactile (albeit virtual) way, so I cant wait to see the end product.

A good night out. Couldn’t make the Petrie?  Don’t worry, the next Digital Excursion is scheduled for April and will be hosted by The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at the Wellcome Collection.  More details soon.