It sounds paradoxical but one of the world's leading hubs of digital heritage learning, research and innovation is based in an art school, and it had to be in Glasgow... A fusion of cultural heritage and technological expertise, history and data, human stories and computational power, it's the "idea of dueling polarities within one entity" made concrete (and virtual) in an unexpected setting.
An immersive re-imagining of an epic city event hosted by the Museum Of London within the geographical boundaries of where it happened in 1666 puts the destruction and resurrection of London in your hands. These are my selective impressions of its material and digital touchpoints...
Walking is often cited as a source of creativity and freedom from the repetitive cycle of daily existence. Pervasive social and mapping media can now capture and impinge on the walking experience; but rather than just recording, guiding or interrupting it what if they could be used to re-ingnite history in the present? The digital re-enactment of Ben Jonson’s Walk in 1618 took this challenge on directly.
Heritage apps that shun famous names from the history books democratise digital heritage, putting ordinary lives centre stage. But the Hidden Newcastle app from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums also shows that stories from the street level are no less dramatic – the extraordinary is everywhere.
A look at the organisational tapestry behind the London Dickens Trail app, launched in 2012, lays bare the complexities encapsulated in the question of what the rise of digital locative heritage means for the role and function of the museum as the collector and curator of shared cultural experience – the focus of my dissertation in 2014.
Local museums shine a light on their environs and experimenting with location-based digital heritage offerings in this setting can act as a petri dish for germinating local insights. An early foray was Map The Museum, centred on the public adding location data about items drawn from Brighton Pavilion & Museums’ collections to an online map of the city.
Long before PokémonGo there was StreetMuseum, an augmented reality app launched by Museum of London in 2010 that lets you find and visit places across the capital and see them overlaid with views from the past on your mobile screen. It was a breakthrough service in the digital space...
Many community, arts and civic groups are using digital and mobile media to open up local history and heritage, making it more accessible to local people in rural and urban settings. As I'm interested in community usage of digital media, I was excited to stumble on news of a forthcoming launch on 6th September 2014 of an augmented reality history app near me in South London.