We are developing a suite of support materials and channels to assist venues and volunteers who wish to create and manage their own Empedia guides. FAQs relating guide creation and more general issues are listed below. We will add to this over time and release downloadable reference documents covering areas of guide production.
Interested parties are also urged to join our Twitter Feed and Facebook Page where we will announce new guides, post related topics and tell you about upgrades and features as they become available. Whether you are a curator, volunteer, developer or member of the public, we value your feedback via these channels.
- How do I add a guide about my museum on Empedia?
- What ccontent can I include in my Empedia guide?
- What about copyright?
- What is the optimum length of a video or sound clip?
- Why is mobile computing important to the cultural sector?
- How does Empedia relate to other websites?
- How long will Empedia support be available?
- Do mobile guides work without a phone signal?
- What if I don't have an iPhone?
- How is Empedia being marketed?
How do I add a guide about my museum on Empedia?
Cuttlefish are currently providing consultation and workshops to help venues and organisations get started with Empedia. These sessions are helping us to develop the online authoring and management tools that you need create guides. We will be making these authoring tools available to Museums and volunteers in the coming months so that you can create and maintain your own guides.
What content can I include in my Empedia guide?
Empedia can be used to originate, creative content for venues, attractions and exhibitions. The system supports text, audio, video and mapping data for creating 'location-aware' content such as tour guides and trails. The system accommodates most formats and is extremely flexible. To a degree guide content is only limited by your imagination. For inspiration, take a look at the Featured Guides to see how other venues and organisations have used Empedia. And talk to us about your visitors and how you would like to engage them.
What about copyright?
Intellectual property rights relating to guide content (ie; photography, audio and movie clips) resides with the author. You must obtain permission to use guide conte from the copyright holder. Your Empedia guides are subject to the same copyright law that you would extend to your print material, interpretation boards and other communication graphics. For more information on copyright and intellectual property please get in touch.
What is the optimum length of a video or sound clip?
The optimum length of video and audio clips is entirely at the discretion of the curator/content editor and may also be determined by hosting services such as YouTube and Vimeo. Mobile guide content can be pre-loaded to facilitate the delivery of lengthy 'bandwidth-hungry' clips, but it is important to consider the context in which the video is being viewed. When displaying video on mobile devices it is better to break clips into separate sequences that are both digestable by the viewer and deliverable by the network. Remember that WiFi and mobile network charges may apply. The Cuttlefish technical team can offer advise on specific guide requirements.
Why is mobile computing important to the cultural sector?
Increased public acceptance of smart-phone technology, mobile computing and social networks means that compatibility and sharing are an essential part of the Empedia proposition. With over 40% of all Facebook traffic being conducted via mobile phones, the implications for cultural venues and organisations are huge. Cuttlefish are committed to developing a flexible platform that is able to support the kind of multimedia delivery expected by the public at large.
How does Empedia relate to other websites?
Empedia is designed to work with other websites, not replace them. It features sharing options for linking with popular social media sites and an embedded player that can sit within your own website or blog. You can generate the code you need by simply clicking on the embed icon, then copy and paste into your HTML pages or CMS editor. Distributing cultural guides by these methods has great potential for raising the profile and encouraging traffic between museums and attractions within the East Midlands region and beyond.
How long will Empedia support be available?
Cuttlefish are committed to supporting the Empedia platform beyond the Renaissance funding period. We will continue to offer free help and support to MLA members until June 2012 and maintain the platform for at least five years beyond that. Long term, we expect to offer both free and premium guide creation with the help of funding or soft commercialisation of the platform. We want to see the number of cultural guides grow. Empedia is built using open standards which offers easy migration or interoperability with other systems, so it's future proof: Your guide content won't be lost even if new delivery platforms begin to emerge.
Will guides work in an area which has no phone signal?
During development, several test guides were located in remote areas, so that our developers would experience the technical challenges presented by these locations. The Empedia iPhone application offers pre-loading content that is stored on the phone, then triggered by tapping the screen or by pointing the built-in camera at QR Codes displayed on signage at cultural venues. QR Code support is an integral component within Empedia. It can generate printable QR Codes for any media resource or guide within the system providing creative opportunities for visitor engagement even in locations where Internet connectivity is poor or non-existent.
What if I don't have an iPhone?
The Empedia website is accessible via any internet connected device but the iPhone App has been specifically written for the iPhone. We appreciate that growth in both smartphone and tablet computers may drive demand for Empedia Apps for other platforms. Cuttlefish are already considering application development for other mobile platforms such as Google Android.
How is Empedia going to be marketed?
Empedia will be marketed through the efforts of MLA Renaissance East Midlands. Case Studies and marketing collateral will be made be available as downloads for museums and volunteers to print. Initial marketing activity will focus on content creators and ultimately extended to the general public. Cuttlefish will be demonstrating the system at various arts and tourism related events and will leverage social media and search engine marketing.