by Fred Truyen, KU Leuven.
The Photography hackathon “Hack your Photo Heritage” took place on 25-27 February 2016, hosted at the FabLab of KU Leuven in Heverlee (Belgium). People attending were students, developers, cultural heritage professionals, photography people. Some teams came already with some ideas, but many individual attendees were still looking who they might join.
The first day 25 February was an inspiring session with many international speakers; the Technical Coordinator Antonella Fresa presented the context of the E-Space project and highlighted the link with Europeana, which gave James Morley, Europeana representative at the event, an opportunity to show the different possibilities that Europeana offers for re-use through Europeana Labs. Very important was a short insight from Simon Cronshaw (Remix Summits), on what the focus is for the judging criteria. In this hackathon in particular, we focus on concepts and business models rather than the development itself. Many technologies in photography relevant to GLAM are available, but are not yet packaged in a way that broad commercial use and practices can be supported.
We also demonstrated the available tools, such as the E-Space WITH environment developed by partner NTUA, which allows for sophisticated storytelling and story sharing with images from sources such as Europeana, DPLA, Rijksmuseum, British Library and others. The slot allocated to team assembly allowed the participants to discuss and share a lot of ideas. Not all of those ideas, often the at first sight most compelling ones, are possible to turn into a useful application. There is always a part that is technology driven and above all market driven. Besides technology readiness levels, the readiness of a market, an audience, and more importantly a professional sector ready to take it up, to move forward towards a practice incorporating the new tools is of critical importance. The evening session offered a series of short pitches by speakers with an interesting pedigree in creative reuse of heritage.
The following days of the event were busy of work by the teams, out of which the 3 best concepts were selected by the jury and will fly to an intensive business modelling workshop in London.
Read more on the Photography Pilot and hackathon HERE.