Presentation at Museums on the Web 2015

  • Posted on: 9 March 2015
  • By: warren
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, USA
April 8-11, 2015, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Grand Ballroom (4F) 
Joint work with David Evans, Minsi Chen, Mark Farrell and Daniel Mayles.
We review the possibilities, pitfalls, and promises of recreating lost heritage sites and historical events using augmented reality and "Big Data" archival databases. We define augmented reality as any means of adding context or content, via audio/visual means, to the current physical space of a visitor to a museum or outdoor site. Examples range from simple prerecorded audio to graphics rendered in real time and displayed using a smartphone.
Previous work has focused on complex multimedia museum guides, whose utility remains to be evaluated as enabling or distracting. We propose the use of a data­-driven approach where the exhibits' augmentation is not static but dynamically generated from the totality of the data known about the location, artifacts, or event. For example, at Bletchley Park, reenacted audio conversations are played within rooms as visitors walk through them. These can be called "virtual contents," as the audio recordings are manufactured. Given that a number of documentary sources, such as meeting minutes, are available concerning the events that occurred within the site, a dynamic computer-generated script could add to the exhibits.
Visitors' experiences can therefore react to their movements, provide a different experience each time, and be factually correct without requiring any expensive redesign. Furthermore, the use of a data-driven approach allows for the updating of exhibits on the fly as researchers create or curate new data sources within the museum. If artifacts need to be removed from an exhibit, pictures, descriptions, or three-dimensional printed copies can be substituted, and the augmented reality of visitor experience can adapt accordingly.

Presentation at the Department of History and Classics, Acadia University

  • Posted on: 5 March 2015
  • By: warren


Mapping the Western Front: the British and German experiences
March 26th, 7pm, BAC241
The static nature and scale of the battles on the Western Front was unwelcome to both Entente and Central powers during the Great War. Faced with logistical requirements on an unprecedented scale, standardized maps at different scales had to be produced of the battlefield quickly for both tactical and strategic purposes. This was a minor revolution in military thinking: previously cavalry officers were expected to ride with a sketch-board to map out terrain and enemy positions for their commanders.
In this talk I will contrast the Entente and Central efforts at mapping battlefields, highlight the differences in the approaches they took as well as evidence about local military intelligence activities. Both British and German coordinate systems will be explained as well as how to geo-reference these maps into modern mapping software.

Code Event: How to open a coffee shop in Halifax in 3 minutes

  • Posted on: 28 January 2015
  • By: warren


How to open a coffee shop in Halifax in 3 minutes
Code Event Halifax
Theater B, Tupper Building, Dalhousie University
January 30th, 2015, 7PM
In this talk I will demonstrate the power and value of open data by showing how an entrepreneur can choose a location to open a new coffee shop in Halifax using data-sets available on the Halifax and Canada Open Data Portals. Specifically, we will locate an available rental space for the coffee shop while keepings in mind the locations of potential competitors and customers.
Slides are available here.

Invited Talk: "Fear, uncertainty and doubt: doing good research work with partial network data"

  • Posted on: 29 September 2014
  • By: warren


Invited Talk: "Fear, uncertainty and doubt: doing good research work with partial network data"
NEH Workshop on Digital Methods for Military History
10-11th October 2014
As digital methods and tools become more prominent in the scholarly historical community and the practice of public history, historians have to learn to use these methods effectively. Northeastern University's NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, announces a workshop designed to help historians of the military to learn about and use these tools. This workshop is a partnership between the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University, the NEH's Office of Digital Humanities, and the Society for Military History.
This two-day workshop will introduce historians of the military and foreign policy to digital tools and methods, focusing on network analysis and mapping, which are methods particularly suited to the study of the military. Participants will learn about projects that have successfully used these methods, and then they will receive hands-on instruction to help them get started in using these methods themselves.
Abby Mullen giving a talk on the uses of the Map Warper with historical maps.

rectifi.jpg panel.jpg




Panel on the second day on the uses of digital mapping techniques and uses.


Presentation at TSIO: 3D virtual worlds as search, discovery and retrieval engines

  • Posted on: 9 September 2014
  • By: warren


3D virtual worlds as search, discovery and retrieval engines
Thursday, 11th September 2014 - 4PM, City University London, College Building, Room A214
Joint Paper with David Evans, University of Derby.
The search for "relevant" information has long been driven by keyword searches and some basic visualizations.  The increase in both the amounts of data available and in the breath of data that is not a discrete text document is creating new opportunities for non-traditional means of information retrieval (IR).  In this paper, we present a prototype system where a 3D virtual world is used to access and discover information in semantic web databases. A prototype that focuses on the period of the Great War is discussed.

Presentation: Bridging Communities of Practice: Emerging Technologies for Content-Centered Linking

  • Posted on: 1 April 2014
  • By: warren
Bridging Communities of Practice: Emerging Technologies for Content-Centered Linking
Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Watertable Ballroom (ABC), Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Baltimore, MD, USA
Presented by Douglas W. Oard
This paper describes the potential of new technologies for linking content among cultural heritage collections and between those collections and collections created for other purposes. In recent years, museum professionals, archivists, librarians, and digital humanists have worked to render cultural heritage metadata in an interoperable form as linked open data. Concurrently, computer and information scientists have been developing automated techniques that have significant implications for this effort. Some of these automated techniques focus on linking related materials in more nuanced ways than have heretofore been practical. Other techniques seek to automatically represent some aspects of the content of those materials in a form that is directly compatible with linked open data. Bringing these complementary communities together offers new opportunities for leveraging the large, diverse, and distributed collections of computationally accessible content to which many of us now contribute.

Workshop: Computational Linguistics for Libraries, Archives and Museums at CODE4LIB

  • Posted on: 12 March 2014
  • By: warren


CLLAM Workshop (Computational Linguistics for Libraries, Archives and Museums)
Code4Lib Conference 2014, Raleigh, NC, USA
Monday, March 24
Joint presentations with Corey Harper, Amalia Levi, Douglas W. Oard and Robert Warren.
We will hack at the intersection of diverse content from Libraries, Archives and Museums and bleeding edge tools from computational linguistics for slicing and dicing that content. Did you just acquire the email archives of a start-up company? Maybe you can automatically build an org chart. Have you got metadata in a slew of languages? Perhaps you can search it all using one query. Is name authority control for e-resources getting too costly? Let's see if entity linking techniques can help. These are just a few teasers.

There will be plenty of content and tools supplied, but please bring your own [data] too -- you'll hack with it in new ways throughout the day. We'll get started with some lightning talks on what we've brought, then we'll break up into groups to experiment and work on the ideas that appeal. Three guaranteed outcomes: you'll walk away with new ideas, new tools, and new people you'll have met.


Presentation at LDG2014: From the trenches - API issues in Linked Geo Data

  • Posted on: 1 March 2014
  • By: warren


5th - 6th March 2014, Campus London, Shoreditch, UK
Joint work with David Evans
This paper reports on the experiences of building a linked geo data coordinates translation API and some of the issues that arose in the process.  Beyond the basic capacities of SPARQL, a specialized API was constructed to translate obsolete British Trench Map coordinates from the Great War into modern WGS84 reference systems.  Concerns over current methods of recording geographic information along with accuracy and precision of information are discussed.  Open questions about managing the opportunistic enrichment of geographical instances are discussed as well as the scalability pitfalls therein.
Note: The final report on the workshop can be read here.

Presentation at ACAT - Ask not what you can do for Linked Open Data but what Linked Open Data can do for you.

  • Posted on: 5 December 2013
  • By: warren


Ask not what you can do for Linked Open Data but what Linked Open Data can do for you.
Monday, 9th December 2013 - 12PM
Centre for Aboriginal Studies Boardroom, Building 211, Curtin University
Presented to the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT)
Digital Humanities scholars have long been hampered by the twin problems of getting the data into digital form and then managing ever-increasing amounts of it. Too often, the data behind the research becomes prisoner of a 'research portal' or lost on someone's laptop. In many ways the most successful data management tool so far is the spreadsheet - a 40 year-old technology!
This talk is about linked open data, or the semantic web, an approach to the management of data that is showing promise for researchers, libraries and archives. The talk is non-technical and focuses on explaining how real-world research data problems can be solved. These include the identity of historical persons, dealing with incomplete or false data; identifying or referencing lost geographical locations and encouraging the serendipitous reuse of data in other projects. Real-world examples of problematic data from the Great War will be shown from the Muninn Project and the solutions using linked open data approaches.

Visiting Fellowship at Curtin University

  • Posted on: 30 September 2013
  • By: warren


I have been awarded a Visiting Fellowship to Curtin University in Perth, Australia this fall at the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts. I will be working with Erik Campion on hyper-realistic simulations of the the Great War using immersive visualizations and gaming engine being fed simulation data from the linked open data collection of the Muninn Project.