Thursday, 19 December 2013

Newspaper clipping management

I was recently asked to advise on the best process for scanning and cataloguing an extensive catalogue of newspaper clippings for future reference and research.

After a consultancy period and an examination of the company's needs and initial budgets I have implemented a simple system utilising a process of scanning images directly into Adobe Lightroom and using  the image processing and cataloguing capabilities of Lightroom to maintain the collection.

Further development has been planned to provide a bespoke system with optical character recognition to convert the scanned images into fully searchable text.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Addition of video processing to the Digital Gallery

After several months of successful use it was decided that the Digital Gallery system could be extended to display videos in addition to the comprehensive collection of photographs.

The management application has been fully updated to allow video to be imported in all common formats. Videos are automatically processed to the best size and quality for display on the public system. As with photos, videos can be categorised and described in full.

A typical video detail page on the public system. Simple touch buttons are provided for playing, pausing and stopping video.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Rebuild of a custom display lectern and installation of a new 30 inch screen.

After over 5 years of constant use a large custom built touch screen display lectern used by a local museum had developed flaws in the 30" display. The flaws can be seen as the large circles in the image to the left.

Fortunately the lectern was built with a separate touch overlay on top of the main screen and the flaws were in the screen. A screen of this size is already very expensive; a touch screen version of the monitor would have made the repair uneconomic, as the display is vital to the museum.

In addition to the display problems the lectern was originally designed with too few ventilation ports resulting in overheating issues and repeated power supply failures.

The work included replacement of the display, installation of a new graphics card, additional fans and additional ventilation in
the lectern base. The museum now has a fully refurbished unit that should provide good service for a large number over visitors over the next 5 years.

< The rebuild in progress.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Digital Gallery - Photo processing and interactive system

I was approached by Sherborne Museum to develop a fully integrated photo processing, cataloguing and interactive display system.

The key aims of the project were:
  1. A database system to enable the digitisation and management of the photo collection.
  2. A simple to use public interface to allow browsing and searching of the collection via a touch interface.
  3. The public will be able to order copies of photographs by noting each photo reference on an order form and handing it to the museum reception
The system comprises a very capable yet simple to use management application for use by the museum staff and a touch enabled application for use by visitors to the museum.

Management Application

The management application provides a range of functions while being very straightforward to use. Some of the key features are:

  • Import of photos directly from a flat-bed scanner.
  • Import of photos from hard drive, CD or USB drive.
  • Cataloguing of all photos in departments and categories.
  • Maintenance of all attributes relating to images.
Each photo can be assigned the following:
  • Title
  • Public description - the description shown to museum visitors.
  • Private description - the description used by museum staff to identity and describe images.
  • Category.
  • Attribution (e.g. artist or photographer).
  • Media type (e.g. slide, print, negative).
  • Time period (either exact date, decade or century).
Photos can be printed, exported to Adobe Photoshop or published directly to the public system.

The main screen in the management application.

One of the photo management screens showing options for importing images from disk, scanning batches of images or scanning a single image.

An example image details screen showing the various attributes and functions.

Public System

As well as providing better management of the museum's photographic collection the main goal was to provide a means for museum visitors to browse the majority of the collection, view details on every image and order prints.

After consulting on the various options it was decided that the best approach would be to provided a dedicated touch based system for browsing the entire collection.

I have developed the system in such way that almost any design could be used for the public system with minimal changes to the way the system works - for the first implementation it was decided that a very simple un-cluttered interface would be the best way forward.

An example category section within the public system. All photos automatically tile to fill the screen.

An example detail page showing title, reference, description and attribution. Options are provided to zoom, return to the category page or add the photo to the user's basket.

A bespoke lectern was commissioned to house the dedicated 24 inch touch screen. Any size lectern or screen could have been used but a 24 inch screen best suited the museum's requirements.

Friday, 1 February 2013

John Hamblin Furniture Restorer - New Website

I was asked to produce a new website for local furniture restorer and cabinet maker John Hamblin. Having struggled with another provider who failed to deliver a finished website I was asked to take the website on and produce a simple site that communicates their values of high quality workmanship and excellent customer service.

The new website is live and can be viewed here: