Monday 9 March 2015

Thanks to everyone who made Digital Past 2015 another great conference!

The event was opened by Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism and Kate Clark, CEO Cadw. After an extremely inspiring opening, which placed heritage as a key player in the drive to improve digital inclusion and skills in Wales, Ken also took the opportunity to discuss the varied digital projects and products on show within the exhibition area.


Over 170 people attended the event in the spectacular setting of the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, enjoying 23 talks and 10 workshops, as well as taking advantage of the Unconference session to showcase their own projects and research. Topics ranged from crowdsourcing to gaming, Virtual Reality to 3D printing, apps for those recording in the field to headsets for immersing people in the past; however two overarching threads running through all the presentations were questions. 'Why?' was emphasised by both Kate Clark and Nick Poole (The Collections Trust) in the opening session, and 'How sustainable?' was the question asked by Natasa Milic-Frayling (Microsoft Research UK) as she warned us of the inevitable shelf-life of software, and therefore our digital files.

Workshops covered a range of practical skills including Reflectance Transformation Imaging, Gigapixel Photography and how to use Locloud Collection to build your own digital collection. Perhaps the most ambitious however was compiling and building a working 3D interior of a Welsh chapel on a raft of Google cardboard headsets!

A wide range of exhibitors were also on hand to showcase projects, products and skills to discuss with the delegates. Occulus rift headsets and 3D printers, laser scanners and UAV's stood alongside amazing augmented reality visuals, visualisations and web resources.


Thanks to all the speakers, exhibitors and workshop providers for providing another great year of content, and thanks as well to our sponsors and supporters for helping to keep the conference as financially accessible to all: Leica Geosystems, Heritage Lottery Fund, Korec, Software Alliance Wales, People's Collection Wales and the journal Science and Technology of Archaeological Research (Maney Publishing).


Thursday 5 February 2015

Making Culture Touchable: 3D printing for Heritage

Museofabber works with museums and 3D printing technologies to bring touchable artefacts into the classroom and provides access to 3D printed-on-demand museum artefacts.  


Nikolaos Maniatis will be speaking and exhibiting at Digital Past 2015 where he'll tell us more about the technology, the workflow and the opportunities it offers for education, engagement and dissemination. 

Wednesday 4 February 2015

An expert guide to Visualising the Past. 
Niall Ó hÓisín, founder of Dublin based Visualisation Company NoHo will be at Digital Past 2015 to provide us with an insight into the world of visualisation, and guide us through some of the many and varied techniques and forms of media available to the heritage sector when relaying information and visualising aspects of our past. 

Using examples of their work including Medieval Dublin, Rome 320AD and the Abbey Theatre, Niall will focus on how to create captivating, digitally based interpretations, and will discuss what can be learnt through the visualisation process and how the public can benefit from it.

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Digital Visualisation Technologies for Community Engagement and Research
Cara Jones will be at Digital Past 2015 to present the ACCORD (Archaeology Community Co-production of Research Data) project, a partnership between the Glasgow School of Art, Archaeology Scotland, University of Manchester and the RCAHMS that explores the opportunities and implications of digital visualisation technologies - traditionally the domain of the specialist - for community engagement and research. 

The project has designed and produced an archival and open-access research resource that with the support of visualisation technologists, researchers and practitioners in community engagement, enables participants to design, produce, share and reuse their own ‘community defined’ 3D digital assets.  Core to ACCORD is the recognition that heritage is increasingly being made by everyone, especially through the growing accessibility and ubiquity of easy to use digital technology. 


Digital Dissent to be launched at Digital Past!

The Digital Dissent project has been a collaborative partnership between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Welsh Religious Buildings Trust to build a 'virtual museum' of Nonconformity in Wales. 

Funded by Visit Wales as part of the Digital Tourism Framework Programme, HLF and Cadw grant aid the project has aimed to restore Yr Hen Gapel, Rhydowen, a Grade II* Unitarian chapel in the care of the WRBT as well as to create a new web resource interpreting the history of Welsh Nonconformity and chapel building. Resources include the creation of virtual access to chapels in the care of the WRBT through laser scanning, gigapixel photography and computer visualisation and interpretative analysis and GIS mapping of the Royal Commission’s 6400 plus records of Nonconformist chapels across Wales. Community workshops have provided fascinating archive and stories which form the basis of community areas on the website facilitating further community uploads and discussion forums.  

The website will be launched at the end of the first day, with a talk by Susan Fielding of the Royal Commission and Christine Moore of the WRBT and demonstration of the resources.  

Exhibitors at Digital Past 2015

In addition to the range of fantastic speakers lined up for Digital Past 2015, there will also be a variety of exhibitors showcasing their projects, products and services.

Confirmed exhibitors so far are:

BIM Surveys Ltd
Digital Dissent Project/Welsh Religious Buildings Trust
Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust
Heritage Lottery Fund
Historic Scotland
iDEA Ltd
Internet Archaeology
Leeds City Council
Leica Geosystems
Peel Interactive
Peoples Collection Wales
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
Software Alliance Wales
Scan to Plan
Soluis Technologies

A limited number of exhibition stands are still available to book via Eventbrite

Monday 2 February 2015

Reflectance Transformation Imaging
Kathryn Piquette from the University of Cologne will be at Digital Past 2015 to speak and host a workshop on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).  This advanced photographic technique provides high resolution documentation of surfaces/objects and enables the user to virtually relight and artificially enhance faint marks and other features, for example increasing the legibility of inscriptions on a variety of materials such as papyrus, clay or stone and thus aiding understanding for both archaeological and conservation purposes.

 A topic of great interest to anyone working with heritage objects, including archaeologists, historians, librarians, museums curators, conservators and photographers.