Cultural data hacked successfully

This year’s Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon in brief: #GLAMhack2018 took place at the Swiss National Museum from 26 to 28 October. The hackathon connects experts from libraries, archives and museums with the developer, designer and gaming community, offering the leeway to use freely accessible cultural data. This creative freedom yields impressive and diverse results.

The majority of the 15 project teams at #GLAMhack2018 (external link) were formed on site based on the datasets and project ideas presented at the beginning of the event. Before long, two focus areas became apparent in terms of content. Different teams examined questions concerning improved access to information. For instance, they worked on a Wikidata-based multilingual library search (external link) or optimised access to the minutes of Zurich’s Minutes reported by pastor (Stillstandsprotokolle)  from the 17th century using optimised computer linguistic models (Sex, crime and pub brawls in Early Modern Zurich (external link)).

By the same token, several teams tackled the issue as to how digital copies and information from cultural facilities might be presented attractively, innovatively and interactively using state-of-the-art possibilities. The use of virtual reality hard and software was instrumental here. Take the project “we-art-o-nauts (external link)”, for instance, which transforms the “Allianzteppich” on display in the Swiss National Museum into a VR experience. Experts from ETH Library were also involved in the project “Walking Around the Globe - a VR Picture Expedition (external link)”, which the judging panel honoured with the Swiss GLAMhack Award in the Brand New category. They brought their knowhow and digital copies from the Graphische Sammlung and the Collection of Astronomical Instruments to the VR-based exhibition experience.

Many of the prototypes developed have the potential to be refined and used beyond the hackathon – none more so than the fully programmed online game Letterjongg (external link).


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