April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Demonstrations: Description

G.O.D. Brought to Life (and mashed up)

Mia Ridge, Science Museum, United Kingdom

'Brought to Life' is a website that offers access to images of thousands of fascinating objects from the Museum's great medical collections. The site also incorporates detailed object descriptions, introductions to major themes in the history of medicine and engaging multimedia.

Underlying this site is an innovative 'Global Object Database' (or G.O.D) that acts as 'middleware', making data from disparate and heterogeneous collections and image database available to a content management system (CMS) so they can be enhanced and published online. This infrastructure will be available for re-use and will form the basis of future projects, while functionality developed for future projects will improve the overall capabilities of G.O.D. Content collated in G.O.D. can be re-purposed and re-published through new interfaces and application programming interfaces (APIs). Updates to records in the collections management systems are automatically updated on live websites. Links between individual objects appearing in different online contexts can be generated and maintained without any further editorial work, as can links to related objects.

The first re-use of this infrastructure will be a 'mashup competition' for the launch of a new gallery on 'cosmos and culture'. Collection metadata will be made available to the public through G.O.D. and must be combined with another data source to create an online application that provides new insights into our data.

This demonstration will use the 'Brought to Life' website to show how G.O.D works in practice and will also discuss some of the early lessons learned during the preparation process for this highly experimental open mashup competition.

Demonstration: Demonstrations 1 [Close Up]

Keywords: API, collections, mashup, crowdsourcing, infrastructure, experimental