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Information Visualization and Museum Practice

Page history last edited by Susan Chun 9 years, 4 months ago

Session title: Information Visualization and Museum Practice

 

Facilitators: Susan Chun (Independent Researcher and Consultant), Rob Stein (CIO, Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Visual Facilitation: Rachel Smith (Vice President, NMC Services, New Media Consortium)

Panelists: Piotr Adamczyk (Associate Analyst, Web Group, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Beck Tench (Director of Innovation and Digital Engagement, Museum of Life and Science), Richard Urban (Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign)

 

In brief: 

Already an important tool for organizing, analyzing, and understanding knowledge in fields such as science, education, and business, information visualization has the potential to transform museum practice and research into museum collections. In the museum field, talented individuals have begun to experiment with visualization tools to represent collections, visitors, and a range of other museum activities, using a variety of styles and methods and asking questions about collecting practice, allocation of resources, and visitor responses to onsite and online programs. This session will feature a panel of infoviz experts and practitioners who will--with the participation of audience members--attempt to frame the potential impact of information visualization on museum practice and research. The ideas and examples discussed during the session will serve as background for a Spring 2011 book sprint that will produce the community's first publication on information visualization and museum collections and culture.

 

Abstract

 

Already an important tool for organizing, analyzing, and understanding knowledge in fields such as science, education, and business, information visualization has the potential to transform both museum practice and research into museum collections. In the museum field, talented individuals have begun to experiment with visualization tools to represent collections, visitors, and a range of other museum activities, using a variety of visualization styles and methods and asking a range of questions about collecting practice, allocation of museum resources, and visitor responses to onsite and online programs. In addition, techniques borrowed from the digital humanities community have begun to appear in primary research about collection objects. Because of its highly complex (and often visual nature), museum data can represent both new challenges and possibilities for infoviz specialists and for the museum professionals and scholars who are their audiences. This session will be facilitated by Susan Chun and Rob Stein, and recorded using visual facilitation techniques by Rachel Smith of the New Media Consortium. It will feature a panel of infoviz experts and practitioners who will--with the active participation of audience members--attempt to frame the impact of information visualization on museum practice and research in the coming years. The ideas and examples gathered during the session will serve as background for a Spring 2011 book sprint (http://en.flossmanuals.net/booksprints) that will produce the community's first publication specifically devoted to information visualization and museum collections and culture.

 

Continue the conversation during the companion unconference session: "Visualizing Museum Collections"

 

Session Info

 

Type: Town-Hall style panel/public discussion

Keywords: information visualization, data, practice, tools, transparency

 

Facilitators

 

Susan Chun

Independent Researcher and Consultant 

Susan Chun is a researcher and consultant to cultural heritage organizations (including museums, libraries, and funders) specializing in print and electronic publishing; intellectual property policy; information management and advanced search strategies; and multilingual content development and management. She is the founder of Steve: The Museum Social Tagging Project, a collaboration of museums and information professionals investigating the potential of social tagging to enhance access to museum collections and engage visitors, and currently serves as the project lead and co-principal investigator for Steve in Action, a National Leadership Grant funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. She is an instructor in the graduate museum studies programs at the Universita della Svizzerà Italiana, and at Johns Hopkins University. Until 2007, she was General Manager for Collections Information Planning at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has also been employed at the Asia Society, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Alfred A. Knopf. She has written and spoken frequently on social tagging and museum cataloguing and documentation, open content initiatives, and museum publishing.

 

Robert Stein

CIO, Indianapolis Museum of Art 

Robert Stein is the Chief Information Officer at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  In that role, Rob leads the museum’s IT, Web, and New Media teams and has played a significant role in helping the IMA become a leader in the use of technology among museums. Under Stein’s leadership, the IMA has received many awards and attention in the press regarding their achievements. Mr. Stein was elected by his peers to the board of the Museum Computer Network in 2008 and has been actively involved in serving the museum community and his local community for many years. In 2006, Stein served as Project Director of the Steve.Museum research project, leading eight of the nation’s art museums in researching the impact of social tagging. In 2009, Stein led the creation and launch of ArtBabble.org, a video website focused on art which brings together 21 leading cultural organizations to create a destination for art video online.

 

Rachel S. Smith

Vice President, NMC Services, New Media Consortium

Rachel S. Smith is the Vice President, NMC Services for the New Media Consortium (NMC), an international consortium of nearly 300 world-class universities, colleges, museums, research centers, and technology companies dedicated to using new technologies to inspire, energize, stimulate, and support learning and creative expression. She is recognized for her work in making new technologies approachable for higher education faculty and staff through talks, trainings, and written materials. A specialist in project coordination, user interface design, and visual facilitation, Rachel leads the NMC's fee-based services units, directs the NMC's involvement in projects such as the Steve in Action project, and directs all NMC internal and external publications. She serves as an interorganizational liaison, bringing together NMC members from around the globe to develop new projects. Rachel authors instructional materials, guides, and monographs on the creative and technical aspects of teaching with technology. She blogs at http://ninmah.be.

 

Panelists

 

Piotr Adamczyk

Piotr Adamczyk has been exploring the possibilities for exchange between practices in the sciences and evaluation techniques from the arts. With a background in Mathematics and Computer Science, Piotr holds graduate degrees in Human Factors and Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Piotr has authored papers and organized workshops for Association for Computing Machinery and cultural heritage conferences centered on human-computer interaction, and served as a Program Committee member for ACM Creativity & Cognition in 2007 and 2009. His arts research includes residencies at the Banff New Media Institute and Medialab-Prado. His recent work is focused on the use of open/linked data in cultural heritage institutions. Based in New York City, Piotr currently holds an analyst position with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam.

 

Beck Tench

Beck Tench is a simplifier, illustrator, story teller and technologist. Formally trained as a graphics designer at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she has spent her career elbow deep in web work of all sorts – from the knowledge work of information architecture and design to the hands dirty work of writing code and testing user experiences. Currently, she serves as Director for Innovation and Digital Engagement at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC where she studies and experiments with how visitors and staff use technology to plan, enhance and share their everyday lives.

 

Richard Urban

Richard Urban is currently a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   As a Graduate Research Assistant for the IMLS Digital Collections and Content Project, Richard participates in research on metadata, knowledge representation, and human-computer interaction for cultural heritage collections. His research interests in online library, archive and museum collections is informed by experience at the Collaborative Digitization Program, Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Historical Society of Delaware.

 

Others TBA

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