Crafting the past-resources and chapter

See esp

I met Jeff Saunders last year at the Interactive pasts conference, he and Stephen Reid presented this

 Jeff Sanders & Stephen Reid (Dig It! 2015)

Crafting the Past

Last year, Dig It! 2015, a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, reached out to new audiences. One of the most popular initiatives came from a partnership with a games-based learning specialist known as ImmersiveMinds. The resulting and ongoing project, called ‘Crafting the Past’, uses Minecraft to bring archaeology to life by recreating real sites on a one-to-one scale, including a Pictish hillfort, 18th-century palladian mansion and Roman fortlet. Players take part in digital archaeological digs, explore heritage sites and even redevelop ruined buildings. Crafting the Past has support from the gaming community thanks to Multiplay, as well the archaeology community, with special thanks to the AOC Archaeology Group and a range of heritage organisations. This presentation will explore the lessons learned throughout the development, launch and management of this project and how unique partnerships can break down barriers in unexpected ways.

Their chapter (with Julianne McGraw) is free online

  1. Crafting the Past: Unlocking new audiences
    Julianne McGraw, Stephen Reid & Jeff Sanders

Thank you for sharing

Though I have been critical of I can also see good, and I greatly appreciate the feature where people can comment on why they want to download an author’s paper.

When an author is writing for different audiences or for a new one, comments explaining where and why a publication has been helpful is encouraging and useful feedback. For new academics, these comments can be used for promotion and so on, but even us older academics can appreciate a few words of feedback and even constructive criticism!

Choosing Conference Hosts

Did you ever have to choose between prospective conference hosts? I don’t remember ever seeing criteria for choosing potential conference hosts but a few times I have been asked to choose or rank applications and from memory I try to mark them against criteria like the one below. Happy change or replace this if someone has a better system well laid out somewhere. Oh and I have not weighted the criteria against each other but that could be done with some contextual information.

  1. Venue capacity and character (size of plenary room, facilities, exhibition capacity, access to transport)
  2. Organizational competence
  3. Local heritage, tours and ambience
  4. Daily costs and access to venue, city and country (for majority of attendees)
  5. Western/non-western/ethnic balance
  6. Links to related institutes/institutional support
  7. Ability to bring in students, communities, related events and organizations
  8. Local expertise in heritage
  9. Ability to bring in keynote speakers and sponsors

Planned European trip 2017

Last trip of the year planned (still to be confirmed, approved, of course)..




Conference paper: Inside Out: Avatars, Agents, Cultural Agents

Paper accepted for Researching Digital Cultural Heritage – International Conference, Manchester UK, Dates: 30/11-1/12/2017 twitter #digheritage17

Keywords:Digitally enabled collaborative, participatory and reflexive approaches in cultural heritage design, research and practice.

If conveying cultural significance is a central aim of virtual heritage projects, can they convey cultural significance effectively without an understanding of the contextual role of cultural knowledge? In this talk I will argue this is very difficult, but even populating virtual environments with others (human-guided or computer-scripted), there are still vital, missing ingredients.

In virtual heritage projects with enough computational power and sophistication to feature intelligent agents, they are primarily used as guides (Bogdanovych et al. 2009). They lead players to important landmarks, or perhaps act as historical guides (revealing past events, conveying situationally appropriate behaviour). Intelligent agents are usually designed for limited forms of conversation and typically help convey social presence rather than cultural presence. For an enhanced “sense of inhabited place”, engaging narrative- related elements, or embodiment, a cultural agent recognizes, adds to, or transmits physically embedded and embodied aspects of culture. They could provide a sense of cultural presence, becoming Aware-Of-Not-Quite-Being-‘There’.

Cultural agents would not be mere conversational agents if they were able to:

  1. Automatically select correct cultural behaviours given specific events or situations.
  2. Recognize in/correct cultural behaviours given specific events, locations, or situations.
  3. Transmit cultural knowledge.
  4. Modify, create, or command artefacts that become cultural knowledge.

To fulfil the above criteria, cultural agents would be culturally constrained. Not just socially constrained; their actions and beliefs would be dependent on role, space, and time. They could understand and point out right from wrong in terms of culturally specific behaviour and understand the history and possibly also the future trajectory of specific cultural movements. In this talk I will discuss three scenarios for cultural agents, their relationship to roles and rituals, and two more missing ingredients. The result? A more situated, reflexive appreciation of cultural significance via virtual heritage.

“Learning GIS with Game of Thrones” free book

gvSIG blog

Have you decided to learn to work with a Geographic Information System and you don’t know how to start? Now that the premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones series will be in a few days, we recommend you do it using the book that we have just published: “Learning GIS with Game of Thrones“.

This book compiles a series of post with practical exercises that have been published in the gvSIG project blog previously. The objective is that anyone, without previous knowledge and through a series of practical exercises, learn to handle a GIS in an entertaining and funny way.

Everything necessary to follow the course is available free of charge, including gvSIG Desktop software – a free GIS used in more than 160 countries – as well as the data (download links are available in the book) and this tutorial, distributed…

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