The Digital Museum is defined as a platform where museums large and small publish information about their purposes. According to the International Council of Museums, the Digital Museum is a permanent institution in the service and development of society, open to the public, acquiring, preserving, researching, communicating, and presenting the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for education and study purposes.
As in the traditional museum, a virtual museum can be designed around specific objects (e.g., an art museum or a natural history museum), or can consist of online exhibitions created from primary or secondary resources (e.g., in the Science Museum).
Before 2000, several digital museums were created using digital technology before the Internet gained any form of fame or collective use. This provided an opportunity for worldwide distribution – for example, web browsers, fast connections, and the use of the Internet everywhere.
One such museum at the time was the Apple Computer Museum, which was released as a CD in 1992 and distributed free of charge worldwide to 1,000 schools, universities, and museums. Exhibits at the museum were educational, including topics such as medicine, plant growth, environment, and space. To facilitate interaction with the museum, a new way was developed to navigate through a pre-existing 3D space and interact with objects in this space, called “virtual navigation”.
The 1999 Guggenheim Virtual Museum was an experimental interactive museum designed by the U.S. Design Office Asymptote Architecture, based on VRML technology, to provide a virtual hub for various foundation venues around the world, as well as to host exhibitions.
Also in the period is the Museum of Computer Art (MOCA), founded in 1993, implemented without Archer, under the authorization of the New York State Department of Education (United States). The Web Museum, Paris, was established online in 1994 as a leading digital museum created by Nicolas Piuch. There is the Lin Hsien Hessin Digital Art Museum, created by a Singaporean artist and named after him in 1994.
This was the form of virtual digital museums in their initial form, and in terms of the interactive environments of the Digital Museum, there are several types of them. The first is the re-creation of a 3D space with visual representations of the museum through a 3D architectural metaphor, providing a sense of place using different spatial references. They usually use 3D modeling, VRML (virtual reality modeling language) and now X3D (back to VRML) for viewing.
Various types of imaging techniques have also been introduced to create virtual museums, such as infrared reflector, X-ray imaging, 3D laser scanning and IBMR techniques (image presentation and model building). In the case of EU-funded projects, ViHAP3D has been developed by EU researchers as a new virtual reality system to survey museum antiquities.
Another interactive 3D spatial environment is QTVR. As a prefabricated static environment, it is more restrictive in terms of moving freely in a 3D space, but image quality can be much higher than the quality of environments presented in real time that we mentioned earlier in the article in the founding phase.
The digitization of museums seems to be a task that has combined efforts, budgets and research from many museums, cultural associations, and governments around the world. Over the past few years, there have been projects dealing with preserving cultural heritage, restoring educational resources and creating more and more extensive digital museums than ever before.
The European Community has established several projects to support these museums, such as V-Must, the Digital Museum’s cross-border network, which aims to provide the heritage sector with tools and support for the development of virtual museums that are educational, fun, long-lasting and easy to maintain.
In 2017, the Virtual Multimedia Museum (ViMM) continued to explore the basic concept of the Digital Museum, where the working group is actively working to redefine the Digital Museum to keep pace with current research.
It should be noted that in 2004, Roy Hockey of King’s College London reported that virtual visitors to museum sites outnumbered actual visitors (on site), many of whom work in dedicated education.
The primary objective of the Digital Museum is to establish fundamental values and promote cultural development, not only to reproduce existing objects, but also to achieve new things.
ICT is not only a tool for processing and making data available but can be a force and catalyst for cultural development.
Depending on the scientific status of researchers, industry or effective use, virtual museums are viewed and used in different ways, for example: as a kind of creative activity, an innovative educational tool or advertising rooms with multimedia capabilities; representing the traditional museum on the Internet; as a tool; for publishing; as a website; as a type of electronic, index communication, etc. And to talk the rest.
Author : Manahel Thabet
Published October 30, 2018
Al Bayan Newspaper