background image
eMarCon ­ Electronic Maritime Cultural Content for Virtual Exhibitions
312
The promotion, dissemination, and
accessibility of European history, for a general
audience as well as for the scientific community
are important tasks for the European society.
The field of preservation and presentation of
maritime cultural heritage makes a particularly
suitable test case for interregional knowledge
sharing and virtual cooperation. Its European
socioeconomic dimension is obvious, and a
number of specific problems exist which
complicate and may hinder cooperation between institutions. Many important artefacts such
as historical warships cannot be moved, either because of their sheer size and weight, or
due to the immense transportation and insurance costs of doing so. In the past these prob-
lems have complicated efforts at giving common presentations of scattered maritime
artefacts within a European framework. In the words of Andreas Kammler of the
Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum
,`such common presentations would be highly desirable,
as they may remind us of our common European roots, but additionally can highlight
the regional cultural differences of the contributing countries.'
eMarCon
(Electronic Maritime Cultural Content) is a two-year project with part of its
2.5 million euro budget coming from the European Commission's eContent Programme;
Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH is pro-
viding additional funding.The eMarCon partners comprise nine institutions from seven
European countries (including Poland), with four maritime museums
313
and a broad
cross-section of the academic, regional and informatics/communication technologies
organisations in Europe.
The objective of eMarCon has been the creation and implementation of a tool for
maritime museums to improve cooperation in areas such as presentation, publication,
education and teaching.The project is user-centred, and its main focus is on allowing
geographically distant European museums (and their visitors) to arrange and publish
common virtual exhibitions on the Web.The project also had to provide the possibilities
for storing and presenting the content in several languages, and was geared towards differ-
ent user groups, in order to reach the largest possible audience across Europe and beyond.
The different groups of users (e.g. virtual visitors, scientists, teachers and pupils, parents
and children) are able to visit the virtual presentations and interact with them at an
appropriate level.The incorporation of interactive and historical games and simulations
will simultaneously educate and stimulate the users as they experience the virtual arte-
facts.The presentations will take the visitors' profiles (age, educational level, skills, interest,
language, etc) into consideration when explaining the exhibits, and the resulting distrib-
uted exhibitions will allow forums for discussing the exhibits and arrangements that the
Collaborative Mechanisms
and Technologies
168
© eMarCon
An eMarCon virtual exhibition
312 This case study is based on a paper provided by Andreas Kammler of the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum
(German Maritime Museum, http://www.dsm.de) and Robert Huber of Universität Bremen
(http://www.uni-bremen.de) in October 2003.The eMarCon Web site was also consulted:
http://www.emarcon.net/.
313 Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven, Germany; Centralne Muzeum Morskie, Gdansk, Poland;
Museu de Marinha
, Lisboa, Portugal; Museo Maritimo Ría de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain.
TWR2004_01_layout#62 14.04.2004 14:07 Uhr Seite 168