I’m often blogging about all the great things other organisations are doing when it comes to social or digital media. This week I’m going to talk about the use of new technology at Nymans House and Gardens. The estate itself was home to the creative Messel family. Ludwig Messel buying the estate in 1890 starting the now famous garden. The house itself was to suffer from a fire in 1947 that would leave most of it destroyed, although it would be partially rebuilt and is now open to the public.
Nymans shiny new Ipad2
I’ve blogged previously about the potential uses of tablets, and in particular the use of Ipad as a cheap(er) way of doing interactives or allowing access to information. Nymans have recently went down this route and bought an Ipad2 to be used by Room Stewards and yesterday I uploaded/set up some content. I’ve been working on creating digitial versions of photo albums which were in the stores and are now available for members of the public to view on the Ipad without damaging the originals.
House Steward and Volunteers check out some digital version of photo albums on the new Ipad2
I think the thing I really like about them is the way you can pass the tablet around and it becomes a communal object in a way I’m not sure happens with large interactives.
I was convinced I posted this entry it doesn’t appear to have worked. This entry was written when the Ipad 2 was released!
I don’t think I can remember the last time the release of an electronic device caused so much of a stir across all the media channel’s from the radio through to Twitter going wild yesterday afternoon. Well apart from maybe the other apple devices that have been launched over the last few years. Yesterday as you will probably have heard saw the release of Ipad 2. I don’t think I could do a blog that touched on digital media without talking about it.
Unless you’re a tech geek you’re probably wondering exactly what all the fuss is about. As you’ll probably have guessed this is the long-awaited update to the original Ipad and with any update apple have worked to try to improve its design especially considering stiff opposition from Tablets running Google’s open source Android system.
There are already plenty of review all over the web which can be seen here and here. However from a heritage perspective a couple of these are probably worth noting, firstly the new Ipad 2 is thinner and lighter. Secondly its a much faster device and it has better graphics than its predecessor. Thirdly it’s battery life remains the same as the previous incarnation of the Ipad. Finally and possibly most importantly the price for the new Ipad2 is probably going to be the same as the old Ipad. Of course there are lots of other useful features on the new Ipad 2 from dual cameras through to HDMI out ports.
I’ve and others before me have mentioned that tablet devices are incredibly useful in digital projects at Museum and Heritage sites. Certainly these improvements makes the Ipad 2 slightly more useful. It’s probably also worth noting that there are increasingly different types of tablet on the market and apple certainly isn’t the only player in the market when it comes to tablets anymore!
I stumbled across this today while working on a mac doing some photo editing. Archaeologist working at the Pompei site are using iPads in the field. Not strictly linked to collections, but its interesting to see how they are using them.
The team are using a paperless approach, where all data is collected using off the shelf apps on Ipads, like iDraw and Omnigraffle rather than taking hand notes and then carrying out data entry. The information is then transferred to on-site server which then links to the project database. The project director believes that using iPads has saved a year of data entry.
Part of the collections of Scotney Castle are seven visiting albums compiled by Christopher and Elizabeth Hussey covering a period from April 1936 through to September 1968.
Watercolour and pictures of Corsham Court Wilshire © National Trust / Charles Thomas
The first four albums for the period 1936-1955 are a record of country house visits paid almost entirely in England, Wales and Scotland, while the three albums for 1961-1968 record foreign holidays and travels.
Over the last week I’ve been developing ways we could use these stunning albums in new ways. The first and simplest I’ve been working on is combining all the images into a single .PDF to use as an eBook.
The second has been working on has been creating a page flip version of the album for use on a external device. Having no skill in creating flash files myself, I’ve been scouring the web and I’ve come up with a number of ways to do this, either using software or sending .PDF files to be converted. I’ve also discovered this free version of doing it, so far it seems to be working fine!
Certainly technology like this is exciting and allows us to look at documents and books which are maybe too valuable or distant to be read in a traditional way. Digital versions of books seem to becoming more and more popular. Something apple seem keen to capitalise on with the launch of the book version of Itunes…..Ibooks!
Having access to information easily is important and interesting but is the wow factor of lost in seeing only a digital copy? Can they really ever replace the real thing? Answers on an electronic postcard!