Day 10: Wrapping up

By Stephanie Grimes and Emanuele Pellegrini

Today concluded our work with Ancient Itineraries after being together for two weeks in London and two weeks in Athens. The conversation began around the linked open data tool, recogito (link to recogito). The group had a unique opportunity to present their feedback to Elton Barker and his group about this resource. There were three main points of discussion:

  • How the Getty Vocabularies may fit into the recogito system, providing controlled vocabularies and another form of linked open data for the annotation tool.
  • The possibility to tag the itinerary of an object through space and time.
  • The possibility to tag an action such as beautifying or destroying a space.

This turned into an enriching conversation about the need to involve a broader range of users, which could be done through practices such as crowd-sourcing. This idea presents it’s own dilemmas, on the one hand it involves a broader audience in the discussion of cultural heritage sites. This includes local communities that are important to the sustainability of them. From a practical standpoint, however, it is quite difficult to design a digital platform that pleases many types of users.

Next Steps

After a quick coffee break, the team reconvened to discuss next steps for Ancient Itineraries. We discussed the possibility of turning the three original white papers, Geographies, Visualization, and Provenance, into formal papers to be presented publicly.  We are also excited to begin collaboration with the Kings Digital Lab as they move forward in their design process to create a proof of concept. This will be presented to the participants for feedback and remarks. It would be a unique opportunity for us to get together for a final institute in December towards the conclusion of this project in order to review the proof of concept and discuss further collaboration.

Wrapping up

We concluded our final meeting by individually sharing what we each got out of the institute and how we wanted to move forward in our own careers.  A clear theme that emerged was that everyone felt like an “outsider” toward traditional art history. This was a unique reflection about the importance of Ancient Itineraries. It brought together a truly interdisciplinary group of scholars to think about how the digital can affect a traditional field. In this way the institute was a truly transformative experience for everyone.

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