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  • Chris Weller 6:27 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    My wife showed me this site: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/

  • Chris Weller 7:04 pm on March 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ipad, moma, reviews, session 7   

    The EB EX NY iPad app from MoMA. 

    The EB EX NY iPad ap from MoMA is one of the mobile nominees. I’ve had this free app for at least a few weeks, but never opened it. I know and understand little about abstract expressionism, so I’m coming at this from the position of a complete beginner.

    Initially, the app launches as a large picture of a giant white wall with many paintings and even a few sculptures hanging. I can swipe my fingers across the screen and the wall moves to let me see another section. Tapping any painting brings it front and center with a black background and descrete menu options in each corner. Menu items can be dismissed or recalled with a single finger tap. A double tap or pinch zooms in on any painting, while swiping allows me to explore the piece up close. When viewing a series, I can swipe between paintings until I see one I like. This is a fantastic use of the iPad interface and why I think this medium is superior to the web for displaying fine art.

    The main interface has tabs that break down the contents of the app by multimedia type: galleries, video and a map. It also includes a glossary of art terms and a “buy” button that lets you join the museum and buy from the shop.

    The galleries include predictable choices like Artists and Chronological, but the standout feature is the bookmark gallery. Any painting can be bookmarked when it is in focused, which adds it to this gallery. I think this is particularly useful in art apps where specific pieces are likely to speak to me more than others. I can be sure to see the pieces I like best when I go to the exhibit. Many of the featured paintings also have audio notes taken from the exhibit audio tour.

    There are more than a dozen high quality videos about the exhibition and about the artists and style. These are included with the app, which makes it extremely helpful when a connection is not available.

    The best “deep interest” feature of the app is a map of Manhattan and Long Island with markers on important galleries, artist homes and studios. Many of the markers show images and notes when tapped. Many of those images also zoom to larger sizes. This could occupy a real fan of the abstract art for hours.

    The curators and developers obviously put a lot of effort and care into this app. It appeals to newbies like me and yet also has something to offer the knowledgeable.
    These are the sort of apps that make me a big fan of the iPad.

  • Chris Weller 7:37 pm on February 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: editor, oxygen,   

    Here’s a link to the exercises from Wednesday:

    Here’s a link to download oxygen:

    The academic license is $64 as opposed to $300+ for non-academic, so if you think you will want this and this is your last semester…

  • Chris Weller 7:19 pm on February 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: australia, ,   

    Here’s the link Professor Pattuelli sent me a few weeks back. This is powerful stuff.


  • Chris Weller 7:59 pm on February 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , TEI, Tibet   

    When the course started, I was interested in researching the digitization and preservation of Tibetan cultural heritage, but I seem to have found a paper that already covers the issues well. I’m looking for something else instead, but I think there’s two great issues this paper brings up: TEI and Access


    Tibetan culture is on that has been in a state of crisis since 1949. Many westerners and Tibetans have worked to digitize texts as much as possible. Because the words themselves are considered more sacred than the teachers (which is saying a lot if you look at how the Dalai Lama is revered) there is no room for error. At the same time, OCR is difficult when you are working with 60-100 year old paper leaves with printing that bleeds through on both sides.

    The two most interesting points for me are

    1)TEI, while it is a wonderful standard, still does not cover everything that would be important for preserving Tibetan materials (the vast vast majority of which are religious and philosophical texts). Melodies, hand gestures, ritual objects, visualizations, etc. are an important part of many texts. Without those, the text is pretty much a script without stage directions.

    2) There are issues of access when it comes to some materials. What if some parts of a culture’s literary heritage require permission from the holder to access?

    A quote from that paper:

    In this endeavor, it is important to respect the control that indigenous scholars have over their own textual heritage. A textual heritage is a cultural property that can speak to the world, but it should be maintained by the people whose ancestors created it. If there are traditional rules about access to certain texts, digital technologies should not bypass these rules. Digital technologies should not be used to appropriate the world’s textual riches or simply to add inventory to western digital archives. The model of broad “access” that often motivates western digitization efforts does not apply universally, and may in some cases go directly against the indigenous textual tradition. This issue comes up with regard to Tibetan texts, because some of these texts are esoteric texts, reserved for advanced meditators. It is generally presumed by western scholars that increased access to texts is better. But this presumption is not shared by Tibetan scholars, who deal with texts that require special permission and instruction from a qualified teacher before they can be read, studied, chanted or memorized.

    • chrisweller 8:36 pm on February 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It might be interesting to create a profile of schemas that could be combined to cover all the TEI-related issues (such as svg for diagrams of hand gestures and imagery, something for music, etc.).

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