Monday, March 05, 2007

Exposing UK Cultural Heritage Digital Resources in Second Life

The Peoples Network Discover Service is an MLA funded service that aggregates content sources that deal with cultural heritage and other MLA funded activities, and provides a digital preservation service for the metatdata generated by such services.

This blog category gathers together my link research into how it might be possible to create an empty shell bulding in second life. The building would essentially be an empty museum-type structure with a console in the lobby. The idea would be to have a SL user enter an “Instance” (Given that I don’t even know if second-life could support such “Instances”, we are at first base here, although it might be an interesting topic for the SL open source program) and use the console to provide topics (Well, search terms really, but it would be nice to do something more advanced). Once happy with the kinds of results the user would select a go control and fill the museum with digital artifacts which they could then explore, and interact with.

Later stages…. there’s lots of work to even arrive at a proof of concept for this, but once sorted, here are other ideas I want to explore

  • Abstract out the features and create a generic JZKit -> SecondLife bridge so that anyone using JZKit to expose their repository can expose that data in SL. Ideally, I’d like to be able to create vanilla search-houses and search-walls and search-pictures (you get the idea) that users can use in their own structures or place on their own land.

  • Provide possible integration with e-commerce (Dependent upon license data in metadata). This would allow two distinct options -> Allow users to request prints of digital artifacts etc in the real world, and possiby more interesting to SL, allow users to download inages for use as textures and other SL resources.

  • Organisation of the “virtual museum” could be interesting, how we categorise and structure the exhibit so it’s not just a “Relevance Ranked” list of stuff arranged throughout the shell of a building is going to be challenging.

  • Providing some way for people to “Store” or “Share” pre-populated museum collections, and link them into their own structures. Perhaps this could be a bit like a saved search or and RSS feed for exhibits people can use in their own structures. In fact, a possible idea for SL commerce might be to provide a “Changable Picture” that users can buy to hang on the walls of their SL buildings. These pictures would be backed by a search of the MLA discover service and the content would change at a user specified interval, for example “Nottingham Lace Market” every 5 mins, could be hung in the lobby of a person or organisation connected to that area.

  • This also provides a new opportunity to MLA.. the inclusion of interactive SL resources in the discover application.

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