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New Access and Services for Cultural Content


The ACTIVATE project will trial the use new technology to open new modes of access to cultural content. Existing content resources will be digitised, and a thematic network will be built. Virtual, non-destructive access will be opened to conservation sites of cultural and historical importance. The project will build and publish templates for thematic network portals and content sites, using recent advances in Internet technologies to improve access to cultural content. It will also build a virtual reality model of a historic landscape, to provide a new way of accessing existing rich stores of cultural content concerning the landscape. Each step of the process will be documented, and the appropriate templates and tools provided, to produce an out-of-the-box solution for cultural providers across Europe who wish to replicate the project's work. The project results, and product, will be disseminated in a focussed, planned manner to cultural providers.

Overall Objectives:
1. To demonstrate the added value that thematic networking provides for small cultural collections.
2. To prove the value of virtual reality as an access tool to large bodies of complex data, as well as for conservation.
3. To provide a published methodology for replicating the project results.
4. To disseminate the methods and the results of the trial specific technical targets:
(i) to build templates and samples of sites for thematic networks; (ii) to build a virtual tour of a historical landscape, and integrate the landscape with related cultural material.

Specific Business Targets:
1. a generic product for building thematic networks, with related revenue streams;
2. a flagship product using a VR landscape as a handle to underlying content;
3. to increase the use of cultural services, and to improve the services themselves;
4. to underpin further business based on the cultural content.

Work description:
Overall, the project users and suppliers will cooperate to build a thematic network and also a VRML interface to existing content resources. Having achieved this, the project will publish and disseminate the procedure and tools used as a standalone product.

Work division:

WP1: The suppliers and the users will agree which technologies are the most appropriate, following cooperative evaluation of the various technologies available. The criteria and procedure used to choose the best technology will be documented.
WP2: The major technical work will take place here. Thematic network portal and content site templates will be built and populated. A VRML representation of a fragile historical landscape will be built. This will provide a revolutionary new access mode to underlying cultural content. The results and the approach taken will be included in the final packaged product.
WP3: The technical output will be formally validated by the users. The criteria and procedures for validation will be published, both to increase the value of the validation exercise, and to allow it to be replicated.
WP4: The effectiveness of the project will be quantified on an ongoing basis. Web tools, HTTP statistics and comparisons of user visits and trends will be used.
WP5: The project output (tools, templates, procedures) will be packaged as a commodity product. This will be distributed online. A wide dissemination exercise, using meetings, articles, conferences and the EU co-operation mechanisms will spread the word about the product.
WP6: The users will refine their plans for further use of the project output. The suppliers will use the results of WP3 and WP4 in a business planning exercise. The market for products based on the (open source) project output will be analysed.
WP7: A lightweight project management WP underpins the rest, and manages liaison with the Commission services.

The most important milestones will be:

- Completion of the technical work.
- Completion and publication of the product.
- End of the dissemination phase.

The key project result will be a product, consisting of software tools, HTML templates, and the procedures for using them to open new access modes. This will allow easy replication of the project experience and results.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures


53/54 Upper Mount Street
2 Dublin

Participants (4)

County Library Headquarters, Ćmill Road
Ennis, Co. Clare
Grand Parade 57-61
30 Upper Pembroke Street
2 Dublin
Hollybrook Park 117
Bray, Co. Wicklow