Heritage Walks and Xpaths X Paths

Speaker(s) : T B Dinesh

  • Language : English
  • Level : Confirmed
  • Nature : Conference
  • Date : Monday 9 July 2012
  • Schedule : 14h00
  • Duration : 40 minutes
  • Place : Uni Mail R150
Red threads : CloudCommon goods
Target audience : General publicProfessionals


A digital heritage site is where you enter a heritage site by the click of a button without actually being at the heritage site. One gets to explore in great detail the murals, carvings, architecture and videos of cultural heritage. A lot of technology for this involves stitching photographs of high resolution and techniques to render these in 2D and a 3D that simulates experience of a physical walk. In the Indian Digital Heritage Project, a digital heritage walk is to be experienced in a web browser, and tools being developed are to enable people to setup their own digital heritage sites in the future. One significant aspect of interest, in a heritage walk, is having narratives of the many artifacts at the heritage site. Often these narratives are of mixed-media, that pull up related videos, scholarly discussions or similar artifacts of the same period. Effectively this work will involve a tedious job of collating all related bodies of work, else where in the world, for every artifact of interest.

In this talk we illustrate how various cultural heritage repositories/sites are being interconnected using semantic annotation tools that help anyone to indicate connected material on the web. Basically, knowing the xpath of the artifact and having a domain ontology to help annotate is enough to tweet these semantic annotations to the world. Such an annotation tool is a simple javascript extension. These tweets are then indexed to provide a service for a specific digital heritage walk. As one is visiting a particular artifact on a heritage site, one can request for the relevant narratives and other connected works which then float onto the page. For specific media types, we do appropriate extension of xpath. Also, users and site owners can choose their feeds of interest making it a custom walk experience.

We illustrate with a case of interconnected cultural heritage repositories related to Hampi, a heritage site, and present the various repositories and groups of people who become a social semantic web by being effective agents of "redistribution". We also describe how this general technique can be used in other educational and research contexts.

You can see this re-narrated in other languages Here. Re-narration tools use similar ideas.


Dinesh has Computer Science background and is a founder of Janastu in Bangalore, India. Janastu has been providing free and open source (FOSS) solutions and support to small not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations (NPOs/NGOs) since 2002. This includes one-on-one consulting regarding the information management needs of the NPOs/NGOs, building their online and offline knowledge bases, providing support to their projects: designing web-sites, configuring news-filters, helping them migrate to open source solutions, localization and Indian language issues support, geographic information collection, and comprehensive or modular open source software development. Dinesh is also a founding member of the International Institute of Art Culture and Democracy.