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.
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.
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New York, Nov. 14-16 2016
Being part of such a big project like Muzeums need us to tour around the world promoting it, helping it grow. Unlike in 2015, when we were in London for the TechCrunch Disrupt, this time was New York, attending one the biggest conference for museums, aiming to shape the future of museums in the next year.
Muzeums was one of the key sponsors of MuseumNext NY, one of the 2 conference of 2016, following the one in Dublin, before moving to Sydney on Feb. 2017. The New York venue was spectacular, right in the heart of Manhattan, in Tribeca at the BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College). We were eyesight from the World Trace Center and the new Freedom Tower on one side, and the piers for Liberty Island on the other side, right in the middle of one of the most thriving part of Manhattan.
At the conference we had the onor to speak during one of the panels, and show our product for the first time outside Europe. The response was awesome, a lot of people told us that our product could really change the way people interact with museums and at the same time help small museums gain access to technologies only available to big partners until today. We’re looking forward to spread our products on the US museums in 2017, and our main goal is that on your next vacation you can have a Muzeums experience while visiting your next museum!
On 3 and 4th of November Oimmei has been invited to partecipate at the annual meeting of Europeana Members, a two days event where organisations and influential people from all over the world gathered to discuss and plan what will be the future of cultural heritage in the next years.
We were indeed very pleased to be invited as well, as members of the Europeana Network for our efforts in projects like Europeana Beacons and the latest Muzeums, that are aiming to transforms the way people will interact with monuments and experience a visit to a museum.
We are Europeana has been the motto of the whole convention, because indeed all the people there participating have the ability to shape the way people will perceive culture in the coming years, with their ideas or their projects, some of them bolder that others. The highlight of the event has surely been the “fly your europeana dream” moment, where all the attendees had wrote on paper planes ideas and let them flew over the auditorium for been collected and reviewed later by the Europeana Commission.
Following that there’s been a private evening at the prestigious Rijksmuseum, where we were able to attend a close visit to the Gallery of Honour, something like a Night at The Museum movie!
We alongside our friend and CEO of Muzeums, David Pond, had the change to unveil for the first time our new project Muzeums, and we had such a tremendous response by the people, from academics to museum curators, that give us the boost to go even further and planning bold moves for the new few weeks.
You’ll surely find us at the London TechCrunch Disrupt on December 7th and 8th in London, we’ll be waiting for you.