Internship Experience: Europeana Collections Importer

The ending of an experience of academic studies sure is an important moment, and I found myself going through that moment here. My name is Andrea Cioni, developer apprentice for Oimmei, and I joined the firm during an internship that was part of my computer science studies, which I concluded at the University of Pisa on the third of March. It was my very first work experience in the field of I.T., and now, after a few months, I’m going to briefly talk about it for the blog.

During the internship, I worked on the Muzeums project, which aims to provide interactive experiences about museums and art galleries, and was already mentioned multiple times on these pages. The app, now available on iOS and Android, allows users to look for museums, go through their catalogue and participate in experiences such as trivia and scavenger hunts regarding the artworks on exhibition. By the moment I joined Oimmei, a new version of the project was being developed. I worked on the server first, then I moved on the web portal that allows museum managers to create the contents for all the users to see. The server is built with the PHP framework Laravel. On that, I made the following interventions.

  • Modification and enrichment of the museums lookup feature. In particular, it’s now possible to get all available museums without filtering by language, each of them with contents in their own main language, and sorting the list by the position of the user, so that the nearest museums are shown first.
  • Addition and handling of the stop number for the artworks. By “stop number”, I mean the number that typically appears next the artworks on exhibition, and allows to listen to the audioguide for them. The number can now be used on the app, so that the users can look at the artwork details and listen to the audioguide without carrying any additional device.
  • Addition of the possibility to get the museum catalogue filtered by floors and rooms, to easily know how many and what artworks are on exhibition in a certain room.
  • Modifications to the database, regarding the translations handling in particular. In the version developed during my internship, one of the most important changes was a new handling of the translations for the contents. Therefore, some interventions were required on the database, to add new data structures and reorganize the existing data.


In addition to these and a few other minor interventions, I developed a whole new component, which required work on both the server and the web portal: the artworks importer from Europeana Collections. Europeana is a rich open database, containing any kind of items that form part of the European cultural heritage. The importer is conceived as a way to help museum managers to add information about artworks on exhibition, allowing them to get data from Europeana rather than creating everything from scratch. The component allows to search items on Europeana applying a number of filters, view the relevant information and save the data on the Muzeums database. The user can change and enrich the info before concluding the import process.

While developing the importer, I created on the web portal, developed using the JavaScript library Polymer, two user interfaces: the first one can be used to look for items, the second one for viewing, modifying and saving the information about a single artwork. On the server, I added the features required for the interfaces, implemented by interacting with Europeana to perform the operations required. The importer is now working, and it will be published with the next version of the Muzeums web portal.

In conclusion, I can say that this internship was really important for me, and not only for my studies. I found myself dealing with pretty complex technologies and projects, and I think that doing so in a work environment allowed me to grow in many ways. I fit in the Oimmei team in a really short time, and I’m happy to be able to continue today, as an apprentice, the job I started in october. I hope to work on many other projects with this team in the future.

For further informations please contact us at [email protected]

Oimmei and a little bit of Livorno in the land of the Rising Sun!

oimmei giappone evento

Breaking news!

Oimmei comes to Japan! The National Diet Library (the Japan government official library, and the only one national library in the country) on  the May issue of it’s official magazine will be publishing an article about Europeana Beacon, the App we bring to Manchester at the FutureEverything Conference.

In the article it will be explained in detail our project and how you can better use the Open Data. Our prototype is based on our own city, Livorno, so it’s fair to say that a little piece of Livorno will be shown in the sushi’s and sashimi’s land!

Stay tuned for more info!

Link: National Diet Library

Future Everything 2015, the diary

Europeana app mobile ios

We came back from the Future Everything in Manchester where we had the pleasure to meet so many extraordinary people. We couldn’t manage to win the first prize, but getting to know Enric Senabre Hidalgo (CEO di Goteo), who decided to choose our project as a crowdfunding case study for the workshop, it’s been great! All started Thursday morning, when we first met our “enemies” like Lars the dutch giant, who undoubtly has been the most easy going with a lot of passion for talking! Then, as soon as we arrived in a great co working space (SpaceportX) we took a micro workshop about how to successfuly start a crowdfunding campaign, during which we worked closely with Milena Popova from Europeana and after about 40 minutes of brain storming we presented our project for the first time in front of an international audience.

That afternoon, as soon as we arrived at the Town Hall, we’ve met Enric: he was already familiar with our project, we started to describe it in detail and then he decided to use the Europeana Beacon as an example for starting a crowdfunding campaign! It’s been quite a brain storming and many of the partecipants fall in love with the project. The day ended with new friendship, new ideas and a new vision for it!

“Good Morning. We’re the guys from yesterday…” this has been our motto during the pitch brainstorming: no one had the slightest idea on how to make a pitch! In the end it has been very easy even if the tension was high but also the adrenaline that came at the very end before starting! After that a couple of hours of boring waiting: “Some journalists would want to interview you guys, they’ll be here shortly!”, “Five more minutes and they’ll be here!”, “Hi Guys, I’m from the press office, we’re almost ready for you.”, “Sorry Guys, the journalists had to go!” luckily we had the time to explore the event and had a chat with the other partecipants. Then it came the moment to meet the jury, a scheduled 20 minutes interview, that in the end lasted 35 minutes! Freedom at last!!!

15 minutes of Hotel relax, then a nice walk towards the Royal Northern College of Music where the Awards Ceremony would took place. Just the time for a crafted beer at the Thiristy Scholar and then we jumped into the party! During the ceremony we were all excited, maybe we started to belive we could win, anyhow after had watched the pitches we knew from the start that the competition would be high: we particulary liked the french project of Plume Labs regarding the air quality in big cities, Allryder to plan the best course using public transportation and the project Bileit who aims to solve the last minute ticket purchase problem for events, maybe because one of us is also an artistic director for a local troupe. When finally they announced the winner, GoOV the project presented by Lars, we’ve been very happy! His project aimed to help people with mental disabilities or dementia to travel safely with public transport, we need to be honest initially it left us perplexed (jokingly we thought “a smartphone in the hand of a mental disable people could last like a cat on a freeway”), but after had talk to Lars who explained to us in the detail how it works and what it aims to accomplish we fell in love with it, mostly becuase of it’s social importance, for the extraordinary results they have already achived (84% of the test subjects switched completly to public transport instead of taxi), but most of all for the passion and love Lars had put in this project!

We came back home at last, with a great experience, new friendships like Lars, the girls that worked with us during the crowdfunding workshop: Hellen, Geraldine and Ina, that had won one of the awards for Europeana Creative, then Enric and Anne Marie from Goteo, and last but not least Milena and James from Europeana, who believe a lot in our project.
Back in Livorno we completed to moving to our new offices and since today we’re back in business with new and freash energies!

Europeana Beacon App

europeana beacon app ios smart tourism

Here we go! This is the new prototype for the Future Everything Festival in Manchester, thanks to Europeana and Apps4Europe for this opportunity.

Some words about the App:

Europeana Beacon combine the power of the Europeana Open Data with the latest cutting edge technology of iBeacons.
Users can walk around the city and have the phone alert them when something worthwhile is nearby, allowing people to discover new places in a new way. Users can read or listen comprensive guides about each landmark they discover, while watching pictures and videos. Engage other people in a scavenger hunt looking for the next clue, or follow the custom paths curators have tailored for them.
As a curator you can have all kind of statistics about how and often each landmark is visited.”

Link to the website

Apps4Europe Awards Winners – Europeana Beacon

apps for europe

Our last efforts were greatly paid back! Thank you to Hyperborea s.r.l. & Europeana and all who organized the #hack4pisa!

We recently participated the Hack4Pisa, a two-day hackathon in Pisa to show how creative re-use of cultural content can create social and economic value. In a few words, the contest wanted the participants to come out with ideas which take advantage of the huge Europeana database, through the public APIs.

The environment was very informal and friendly, Hyperborea Srl organized the event right into the  Polo Tecnologico of Navacchio . A perfect pressure-less atmosphere to be focused on the results. And the results came out quite good.

We were already studying, for our own R&D sake, iBeacon(r) technology when Matteo Lorenzini invited us to the Hackaton.

Honestly, in a few words, this is how it went:

Why don’t we just merge the two things togheter?

And so it came out. The hackaton main themes, Culture, Tourism and Gamification, and iBeacon technology would spouse perfectly for such a matter, indeed. So they did, through our Europeana Beacon App! Feel free to snoop around the App’s mini-site, we’re quite sure you will be mostly impressed!

See you in Manchester at Future Everything 2015

Europeana Beacon App Prototype

Simply on your smartphone, in your hands when you want it. Deeply discover the place you are visiting, whether it’s an indoor museum or an outdoor place, and why not the big exibition event you have been craving to go over the last year. Beacon technology will help you finding your way around, pinpointing all the most important landmarks which you don’t want to miss! A map in your hands, the magic of being alerted when you are right next to them. Media, contents, descriptions, audio and much more right when you need it

See in action here:

Some Press about us:
Startupper.it: http://bit.ly/Zkn93w
Polo Tencologico: http://bit.ly/1o58MMD
Apps4Europe: http://bit.ly/Zzj8c4
EconomyUp: http://bit.ly/1xCQ3YJ
Libero.it: http://bit.ly/1vg4rIu
Pisa Informa: http://bit.ly/1tkdesK

placeit (1) placeit (2) placeit placeit (3)