WALTRAUT RITTER is research director at Knowledge Dialogues, specializing in applied research projects on socio-economic issues of information and knowledge societies. On December 3, 2013, she gave a talk on the topic of Open Public Data in the Cultural Sector at the Medea Talks lecture series.
View the lecture embedded below, or here on YouTube.
A new culture for digital innovation
Recent developments in open public data policies and digital convergence strategies in many countries have created new opportunities to access and use digital cultural content from memory institutions such as libraries, archives and museums. These new policies, supported by technology, are changing our views on how memory institutions create social value, and also create a learning environment for art/history educators and users to co-create new applications and services.
Wikimedia Commons, the OpenGLAM initiative by the Open Knowledge Foundation, and Europeana, the cultural digital portal of Europe with more than 26 million objects, have created a community of information professionals, digital humanities researchers and users, who are exploring possibilities of using digital data to develop new ways of learning and enjoying cultural content. Open and Creative Commons licensing allows new forms of re-using and re-mixing collection data, and an increasing number of archives and museums remove copyright restrictions in order speed up innovation in the cultural sector.
How can this new culture for digital innovation be nurtured across memory institutions?
While there are examples of individual archives and museums experimenting with digital technologies, opening up cultural content and data is challenging for most institutions given the complexity of legal, political and technical issues.
Waltraut Ritter is research director at Knowledge Dialogues, specializing in applied research projects on socio-economic issues of information and knowledge societies. The role of museums and archives as innovative knowledge spaces has been one her main focus in the past years, and she has presented on developments in Asia at scholarly digital culture/heritage conferences in the US, Europe and Asia.
Ritter is also a senior research fellow at the City University in Hong Kong, and was professor for Knowledge Management at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and is teaching at universities across the Asia Pacific region. She holds an MA in Information Science and Sociology from the Free University of Berlin, and an MBA from Anglia University, Cambridge, UK. She is also an active member of the ASEMUS (Asia-Europe Museum Network), and programme committee member of Museums and the Web Asia.
This Medea Talk is done in collaboration with Living Archives, a Malmö University run research project exploring archives and archiving practices.