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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday January 21, 2014

cross-platform culture app

Europeana, Europe's digital library, museum and archive, has launched the second version of its free app.
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‘Europeana Open Culture' introduces the public to hand-picked and beautiful collections from 17 of Europe's top institutions, and allows people to explore, share, download and comment on them. The app is now available for all Apple and Android tablet devices.

Developed by Glimworm, the app provides an easy introduction to the breadth of Europe's treasures through carefully curated themes: Maps and Plans, Treasures of Art, Treasures of Nature, and Images of the Past. The new version includes over 350,000 images.

Europeana Open Culture presents stunning visual collections from Europeana with large images – great for those smaller details - and a ‘comment' option that opens up the possibility for dialogue between many people exploring the same images. What's more, customers can download any item and use it for their own purposes – perhaps as a screensaver, for school work or their own creative activities. They can also link the items to other online resources like Wikipedia for more context and richer information.

Jill Cousins, Europeana Executive Director says:

‘The response to Europeana Open Culture has been great. The app was downloaded thousands of times and was one of the top free educational apps. We've listened to the feedback from our first customers and added new content, new functionality and of course, made the app available for all Android and all Apple tablets.'

The 350,000 images available through the app come from collections as diverse as the Estonian Museum of Geology, the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK.

Once the app has been downloaded, users can start exploring by entering a keyword or selecting one of the themes. Tapping a thumbnail brings the image up in full resolution with the options to add and read comments, download images and connect the image to other relevant pages on the web. Users can also add the image to their favourites to create a personal museum, as well as share them on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

All images included are either in the public domain or are openly licensed which means they can be used for any purpose, such as a school project, a student thesis, a presentation to a local history society, or on blogs, Wikipedia, or even commercially. What's more, the code behind the app is open source so developers can get hold of it, use it and experiment with it. Those interested in the code can check theGithub repository and provide their feedback to api@europeana.eu.

Download the app fromiTunes or Google Play and start your cultural treasure hunt!  

Q&A

What language is the app available in?
The interface is in 7 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Bulgarian, Swedish and the collections themselves are  in their original languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Bulgarian and Latin!

What devices can run the app?
All Apple and Android tablet devices (mobile versions coming soon!).

Can I use the images for my project?
Yes. All the images in the app are public domain or openly licensed and so available for re-use, both commercially and non-commercially. Each image shows you whether it is in the public domain or is licensed.

Where can I find the source code?
At the Github repository: https://github.com/europeana/openculture/wiki

Where can I download the app?
Download the app from iTunes: http://bit.ly/140onjg
Download the app from Google Play: http://bit.ly/LMr6YR

What collections are included?
The contributing collections are:

  • Amsterdam Museum, the Netherlands
  • Biblioteca Valenciana Digital, Spain
  • Biblioteca Virtual del Ministerio de Defensa, Spain
  • Biblioteca Virtual del Patrimonio Bibliográfico, Spain
  • Bibliothèque de l'Alliance israélite universelle, France
  • Biologiezentrum der Oberoesterreichisch Landesmuseen, Austria
  • Catálogo Colectivo de la Red de Bibliotecas de los Archivos Estatales, Spain
  • Fondo Fotográfico de la Universidad de Navarra, Spain
  • Historisch Museum Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Institute of Balkan Studies and Thracology - Институт за балканистика с Център по тракология, Bulgaria
  • Museum of Geology, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Persmuseum, the Netherlands
  • Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands
  • Riksantikvarieämbetet, Sweden
  • The National Library of Poland - Biblioteka Narodowa, Poland,
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
  • University of Tartu - Natural History Museum, Estonia

Can I download the screenshots?
Yes - download a zip file of the screenshots used in this press release from http://bit.ly/1f8maWF

Contact
Milena Popova, milena.popova@europeana.eu, 0031 (0)70 314 0972

About Europeana
Europeana
brings together the digitised content of Europe's galleries, libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections. Currently Europeana gives integrated access to over 30 million books, films, paintings, museum objects and archival documents from some 2,300 content providers. The content is drawn from every European member state and the interface is in 29 European languages. All Europeana's metadata is available under a Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication, making it available for re-use through the Europeana API. Europeana receives its main funding from the European Commission. More information can be found at europeana.eu. Follow us on Twitter @europeanaeu and #AllezCulture.

Europeana Hackathons
Since 2011, Europeana and partners have organised a series of hackathons with the title ‘Hack4Europe!' to showcase the potential of the Europeana API (Application Programming Interface). Hack4Europe! events cover one or two days and have so far taken place in 9 European countries. 170 developers with various backgrounds (universities, creative industries, cultural institutions) have created 79 prototypes, of which one has now been developed by Glimworm into the free ‘Europeana Open Culture' app. For more information go to: http://pro.europeana.eu/hackathons

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