Europeana Releases First Free iPad App

written by Beth on June 4, 2013 in Content and News with one Comment
We are delighted to announce that we have launched Europeana’s first free iPad app. ‘Europeana Open Culture’ introduces you to hand-picked and beautiful collections from some of Europe’s top institutions, and allows people to explore, share and comment on them.
 
Designed by Glimworm IT during a Europeana hackathon, the app provides an easy introduction to Europe’s glorious art treasury through five specially curated themes: Maps and Plans, Treasures of Art, Treasures of the Past, Treasures of Nature and Images of the Past.
 
Open Culture app home page   Open Culture app item view
The home screen and an item’s details on the Europeana Open Culture app.
 
Europeana Open Culture presents stunning visual collections from Europeana.eu 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.
 
Jill Cousins, Europeana Executive Director says:

‘We’re really pleased to launch the first ever Europeana app. By downloading Europeana Open Culture, more people can now explore, share and have fun with Europe’s cultural heritage. It’s only a small snapshot of the whole of Europeana’s collections but small is beautiful. We’re enthusiastic and excited about the ‘Connect’ feature which you can use to link images to articles elsewhere on the web, or to content in Wikipedia. And for the first time, you can make your own comments on the individual images.’

  Open Culture app results view

 
Open Culture app filtering results
Exploring and filtering results on the Europeana Open Culture app.
 
The 350,000 images available through the app come from collections as diverse as:
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, UK
  • Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands
  • National Library of Poland
  • The Archaeological Museum, Portugal
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Digital Library of the Spanish Ministry of Defence
Once you’ve downloaded the free app, start exploring by entering a keyword in the search field or by selecting one of the five themes. Tap a thumbnail to view the image in full resolution, read other users’ comments, post your own impressions and connect the image to other relevant pages on the web (for instance, Wikipedia). You can also add the image to your favourites and create your own personal museum.
 
All images included are either in the public domain or are openly licensed which means they can be used for any purpose, for example in a school project or a thesis, in a presentation to your local history society, on blogs, Wikipedia, or even commercially. What’s more, Glimworm IT have released the open source code behind the app, meaning that developers can get hold of it, use it and experiment with it.
 
Paul Manwaring, Creative Director of Glimworm IT, commented:

‘We started work on an interactive museum idea at the Europeana hackathon in Leuven, which became Muse Open Source – a free software platform. We then released the Muse app for the Rijksmuseum. After this success, Europeana asked us to create an app for them – they wanted something open source so that other developers could build on it. We were delighted that they really got the idea of using an app to make digital libraries and archives fun and accessible. We are really happy that the new Europeana app is helping people to enjoy culture in new ways.’

For more information on how the app works, go to http://muse-opensource.org/. Those interested in the code can check the GitHub repository and provide their feedback to api@europeana.eu.
 
Download the app from iTunes and start your cultural treasure hunt!
 
 
Q&A
 
What language is the app available in?
The interface is in English, but the collections are in their original languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Latin!
 
What operating system is the app available in?
Apple for iPad.
 
Can I get the app on Android?
Right now it’s only available for Apple iOS but the code is open source, meaning that others can develop it as they choose.
 
Can I get the app on my iPhone or iPod?
Right now it’s only available for iPad but the code is open source, meaning that others can develop it as they choose.
 
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. Tap the ‘Rights’ link in an image’s details to learn 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: itunes.apple.com/nl/app/europeana/id646414251

The contributing collections are:

  • Biblioteca Virtual del Ministerio de Defensa, Spain
  • Biblioteca Valenciana Digital, Spain
  • Biblioteca Virtual del Patrimonio Bibliográfico, Spain
  • Biblioteka Narodowa, Poland
  • Catálogo Colectivo de la Red de Bibliotecas de los Archivos Estatales, Spain
  • Central Library of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
  • Central Library of Fondo Fotográfico de la Universidad de Navarra, Spain
  • Institute of Balkan Studies and Thracology, Bulgaria
  • Museu Nacional de Arqueologia, Portugal
  • Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
  • University of Tartu – Museum of Geology, Estonia
  • University of Tartu – Natural History Museum, Estonia