Europeana trials new software in Remix launch
Europeana Remix plays the video in HTML5, and uses the Popcorn.js framework to let users call up resources that are related to the story, from Europeana, Flickr, Wikipedia, Oxford University, Google maps and other web services. Users can leave comments at any point and share their stories or URLs. "Europeana Remix gives users a new experience of inter-relating cultural content without leaving the video space," says Harry Verwayen, Europeana's Business Development Director. "It will be exciting to see how this new technology affects the way that people get involved with stories on the web."
Using leading new technologies to engage users with cultural heritage is central to Europeana's mission and puts the Commission-Funded project ahead of the curve. "Europeana Remix' use of HTML5 web video and the Popcorn.js framework is both a technical and aesthetic leap for web video," says Brian Chirls, the code-developer behind the project, and a leader in interactive video.
Indeed, Remix is so advanced that it plays only on the latest version of web browsers -
Firefox Chrome Safari IE Opera 4.0+ 4.0+ 4.0+ 9+ 10.5+
In order to allow others to make free use of this ground-breaking development as the basis for new applications, the Remix source code has been made available on GitHub, the collaborative code repository for programmers. The film itself and all user contributions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.
Brett Gaylor, of Mozilla Foundation, the Open Source web innovation driver, says, "It's exciting to see Mozilla's Popcorn technology used in such a creative way. The developers of the Europeana Remix project have pushed video to the cutting edge - it is a fantastic use of archives, web services and user generated content."
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Notes for Editors
Europeana brings together the digitised content of Europe's galleries, libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections. Currently Europeana gives integrated access to 20 million books, films, paintings, museum objects and archival documents from some 1500 content providers. The content is drawn from every European member state and the interface is in 27 European languages. Europeana receives its main funding from the European Commission.
Europeana's core mission is to engage audiences with digitised cultural content. This is not simply to put the digital files online, but to create innovative tools and methods of access and interaction. The aim is to renew the relevance of our cultural heritage and enable its stories to be told in new ways.
The source video for Europeana Remix, Otto and Bernard, the story of an unlikely friendship, was made to promote the Europeana 1914-1918 project in Germany. The project encourages people to digitise their own family documents and memorabilia from the First World War and share them with Europeana.
The concept behind Europeana Remix was developed by Knowledgeland, where Thijs van Exel co-ordinated the realisation. Knowledgeland is an independent think tank searching for ways to spark the social innovations needed to improve the knowledge society. Active in education, government, cultural heritage, copyright, creative economy and social media, Knowledgeland strives to innovate these fields, often in collaboration with partners and networks.
Three Eyed Labs / Brian Chirls (www.chirls.com)
Brian Chirls is a media artist, technologist and founder of Three Eyed Labs, a research and development lab based in New York, developing original cross-media content, tools and innovative business models for filmmakers, journalists and musicians.
BigUp / Harold van Velsen (werk.bigup.nl)
Europeana Remix was designed by Harold van Velsen, an experienced graphic & interaction designer. He has built an impressive portfolio with several leading interactive agencies, and founded BigUp in 2010.