Ubiquitous Access to Digital Cultural Heritage
Publication from Digital
Werner Bailer, Thomas Orgel and Louis Gantner and Roman Kern and Hermann Ziak and Albin Petit and Stefan Zicklbauer and Michael Granitzer
ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage , 1/2017
The digitization initiatives in the past decades have led to a tremendous increase in digitized objects in the cultural heritage domain. Although digitally available, these objects are often not easily accessible for interested users because of the distributed allocation of the content in different repositories and the variety in data structure and standards. When users search for cultural content, they first need to identify the specific repository and then need to know how to search within this platform (e.g., usage of specific vocabulary). The goal of the EEXCESS project is to design and implement an infrastructure that enables ubiquitous access to digital cultural heritage content. Cultural content should be made available in the channels that users habitually visit and be tailored to their current context without the need to manually search multiple portals or content repositories. To realize this goal, open-source software components and services have been developed that can either be used as an integrated infrastructure or as modular components suitable to be integrated in other products and services. The EEXCESS modules and components comprise (i) Web-based context detection, (ii) information retrieval-based, federated content aggregation, (iii) metadata definition and mapping, and (iv) a component responsible for privacy preservation. Various applications have been realized based on these components that bring cultural content to the user in content consumption and content creation scenarios. For example, content consumption is realized by a browser extension generating automatic search queries from the current page context and the focus paragraph and presenting related results aggregated from different data providers. A Google Docs add-on allows retrieval of relevant content aggregated from multiple data providers while collaboratively writing a document. These relevant resources then can be included in the current document either as citation, an image, or a link (with preview) without having to leave disrupt the current writing task for an explicit search in various content providers portals.