The first question to ask yourself at the start of a museum multimedia project is Why? What can multimedia presentation offer to visitors with touch screen fatigue? What does it do to further the main mission of museum? For the Dmitrii Donskoi project the answer was easy. Manuscripts, books and photo albums have always been very difficult objects to put on display. It's possible to display them as objects, closed or open at some page, but in that case we are showing only small facet of the object, at best giving visitors a sample of the art and information within. The availability of high quality digital reproduction processes drastically changed that. The next task is how to present it.
The academic and museum community has long been aware of possibilities and difficulties of disseminating digital manuscripts and books. There exist great solutions like Universal Viewer and the Mirador Project, but they are more oriented towards professional users and their interfaces might be difficult for casual museum visitors, but the technologies they use are an excellent basis for creating photo albums and books digital presentations. The task was creating an easy interface that lets visitors experience objects in a way closer to natural experience.
The next logical step was enriching the experience by giving context not only to the object but to the information within: for the Dmitrii Donskoi project it was map locations, commentaries and the ship plan.
The main achievement of the project became creating a platform to let museum visitors, including online ones, access and experience the photo album as closely and easily as possible.
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