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Art & Culture (Museums) On The Web


A Pre Story

The Spring W3C Advisory Committee Meeting (Member Access needed) was held in Beijing in April this year. Part of the Chinese Web community who usually don’t travel much for the W3C events in other parts of the world got the opportunity to watch W3C activities closely via a series of co-events W3C organized. One important feedback we heard from them about W3C and its work was a question, is W3C doing anything for a higher need, e.g. the art? The Web as the largest information distribution platform should make itself available and friendly for the art and cultural heritage of the entire humankind, more specifically the artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance in the museums in the globe. And BTW, W3C does have the basic technologies that can support it. The thing is, what’s missing and what needs to be done? That is a great point and question which leads to the futher exploration on this topic.

Back to the Intro

Web as the prime information source for the public should make itself available and friendly for a higher level need - the Art and Culture, more specifically presented as the collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance in the museums in the globe.

As of the 2010s, the continuing acceleration in the digitization of information, combined with the increasing capacity of digital information storage, is causing the traditional model of museums (i.e. as static bricks-and-mortar "collections of collections" of three-dimensional specimens and artifacts) to expand to include virtual exhibits and high-resolution images of their collections that patrons can peruse, study, and explore from any place with Internet. And technical specifications turn out to be a good option to meet the requirements to improve the online and onsite user experiences with the museums as well as to enhance the inter-museum loan activities via Web.

If we look at W3C's work, some Web standards are already quite relevant to this topic, e.g. data/format(Semantic Web and LDP), visualization/interaction(audio, video, HTML, CSS, SVG, WebVR, AR, 360-camera, HDR, timing), digital exhibition(d-pub, I18N, Web accessibility),on-site interaction(WoT, LBS, Bluetooth, NFC), offline experience (packaging, service workers),social (annotation), etc. These could be a good start for the museum community and W3C community to work together.

Exploration Efforts

TPAC2017 Breakout Session Discussion

A breakout session during TPAC2017 discussed the possible future working items in W3C so that we could make the Web a better place for the museums. Current W3C related work review and some initial gap analysis were made during the discussion. See more detials of the TPAC2017 breakout session discussion at Breakout session minutes. Attendees reached consensus that further efforts should be made on this topic and we could start from a W3C Community Groups and maybe later a W3C Workshop to attract more stakeholders.

Art & Culture (Museums) On The Web Community Group

An Art & Culture (Museums) On The Web Community Groupwas launched on Nov 20 2017 with the strong support from the global W3C community. To quote a group participant, participation in the group is a great opportunity to ensure that the web architectural design and infrastructure recognizes the and supports the value that our organizations collectively bring, and a venue for reaching out to non-CH organizations that share our values or can support our missions. While spreading the info about this CG and enhance participation, the Community is discussing about the following items.

  • where should we carry on the discussion, github, wiki, mailing list?
  • Would you like to have regular/irregular teleconfs?
  • Next steps for the tech work, related W3C activities review, call for use cases/requirements, gap analysis, technical idea proposals, etc
  • Group promotion for boarder global participation?
  • A chair or co-chairs for this group?