To Do: Migrate

This presentation is part of the 2017 3D Digital Documentation Summit.

Digital, Digitization, Digitalization A Prescription for Being Found In the “Cloud”

Speaker 1:           I came back into education, well actually into school, after 38 years of doing broadcast video production. I came to the Industrial Archeology Program with that in my skillset. The first time I was at an excavation out in Utah, people were all around wanting to know what were we finding? What were we doing?

I was putting two and two together. A lot of what I’m going to talk about this morning, it’s going to be a general, but just give me a break, okay?

We’ve arrived at a time when 96 percent of the children aged 1 1/2 to four years have used a digital device. Of that group, 75 percent of four-year-olds have their own. Mobile devices are here. They’re going to be used. They’re going to be a part of our lives from now on. They’re not going away.

Cisco Systems, the internet people conducted a survey, in 2016, wanting to find out what was going to happen with network size and capacity. They’ve projected out five years. What the public is going to be expecting, and let me give you a hint about that. They’re going to be wanting AR, VR, and video. Keep that all in mind.

How do I … This mouse isn’t moving.

Speaker 2:           [inaudible 00:02:08] … This little … It shows up here, but I guess …

Speaker 1:           Oh, well then maybe you just need to drag it over … There it is.

Speaker 2:           There it is.

Speaker 1:           Okay, it was over there.

So anyway … Those kids, in five years, they’re going to be fluent in how to use those in their lives and in their education.

This morning what I want to look at is what the future marketing, and that world is going to look like. I want to look at the documentation technologies that we have. Then I want to map a strategy. That strategy will keep our cultural resources, that we’re documenting, keep them vibrant, and able to be found in the cloud.

Now, before I go on, I’d like to just poll who do we have here. How many people here have … Let’s say are professionals in laser scanning or photogrammetry, some sort of documentation? How many academics, a lot of you? How many hobbyists? No hobbyists. How many people are just interested in what we’re talking about? Okay. Good group.

I’m going to be dividing this talk into three chunks. The first chunk is, we’re going to be talking about the future, a little bit about what Cisco had to say. Then I want to talk about the actual, the star of today, which is digitalization. You may have heard the term. But, we’re going to take this apart. That’s going to be the fun part. Then before concluding, I’ll have some time for question and answer. I’d like to get your ideas. As a matter of fact, my professor said, “Well good, you can get some things to plug into your thesis, and maybe get it done this summer.”

What will a thriving heritage site look like in the future? I see the parking lot as full of cars. That there are virtual reality experiences going on with 6K video screen, surround sound, these immersive environments. There are going to be people walking around out on the landscape with their mobile device. They’re going to be looking at augmented reality enhancements to see what used to be there.

I’m an industrial archeologist, and I love the industry, but a lot of those buildings are gone. I want to see them that are up there. Then we’re going to have children that are interacting with historic reenactors in real time on their smartphones. But, how do we do that?

Well, we have the technologies today to do all of those things, but we’re going to need a community of preservation minded individuals to make it happen. To create the heritage site of the future, we must think big, and think ahead. Like, this guy.

I’ve always loved this cartoon. There’s always a little bit more about it, isn’t there? Okay, so before we start digging, where do we dig, and what is the big picture?

We have documentation technologies that are capable of creating a 3-D environment of our physical surroundings. We have the internet for sharing that data. We have people who can use those technologies to create that content. The combination of those three things, let us rethink the management of our cultural resources.

Okay, the guys who were just here at the Library of Congress, how many people have had any trouble finding thing photo archives from the Library of Congress? Come on. You have to know it’s there. So, by the end of this talk, I’d like for you to think of two things.

The first thing is, how can the work that you’re doing … how can that be found by a high school kid working on a report?

The second thing I want to talk about is that I want you to think about being a member of not only a professional, or academic community, but also a community of stakeholder groups that include the hobbyists, the volunteers, and even the people that are running the sounds and the system here today.

So, how can heritage management compete with Facebook and Google? Do we need to? We may not be able to beat them, but we can do things to be found in the Cloud.

What is the Cloud? It’s a metaphor for everything that’s in the internet, not only the internet of things, but also the content, the applications, and all of the things that are competing for our time.

By 2020, 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps. A hundred million consumers will shop in augmented reality. 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. The average person will have more conversations with bots than their spouse.

Audio centric and screen less technologies will extend the web experience to driving, cooking, exercising, and socializing. Shoppers at IKEA can point the IKEA catalog app at a room and place furniture where they’d like it to go. And, L’Oreal of Paris make-up, the Genius application will let customers try on make up.

In the next five years, 80% of all new cars in mature markets will have data connectivity. Online shopping will use contextualization algorithms to influence shopping decisions, and 20% of all activities individuals engage in will involve at least one of the top seven digital giants, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube.

Cisco Systems, the hardware company, suggest that VR traffic will increase eleven fold, AR traffic sevenfold, and mobile video will generate more than three quarters of mobile data traffic growth by 2021. As a note, mobile video represented more than half of global mobile data traffic beginning 2012.

So, what we’ve seen so far, is that the digital giants are competing for our time. The digital devices are getting smarter and more a part of every day lives. And, businesses are adopting digital business models to add revenue and value for their customers.

Alright, that’s enough background about what’s happening with the market. I’m sure you’re all pretty well familiar with that. Let’s put that away, and then tackle what can be done as heritage can begin its transition to becoming a digital business. Here it is digitalization. What is it?

To date, there’s not a college degree in it. There’s not a book written about it … or, at least I couldn’t find it. In fact, there’s much more considerable debate about what it isn’t, or it’s confused with digitization.

Gartner Incorporated is a company that is a trend setter in digitalization for business. This is their definition of it up here. The use of digital technologies to change a business model, and provide new revenue and value producing opportunities. It’s the process of moving to a digital business.

Again, now think about it … give me a moment. Let me give you an example of what this is. Here’s some examples of companies that have broken from their mold of what they have done forever. We have UPS, putting in 3-D printers. Coca-Cola vending machines where you can pick your own flavor. 3M, stethoscopes that puts the recordings right in the patient’s record. Amazon Dash buttons. I don’t know if you’ve used those, but when you need some more of that Tide, you just push the button and it automatically orders it. Allstate is using drones. They were just in Oklahoma after a tornado. They’re using that for safely inspecting storm damage. And then, John Deere, the lawn line company, is moving into GPS, auto guidance, and even a little feature its farm site has that the machine in the field will contact the dealer, and alert them that something is going on with this machine.

This is a good idea, but that seems a little far fetched for what heritage and cultural resources is about. But, remember, we’re thinking big, and we’re thinking ahead.

Here is a theme … How are the pennies doing, are they getting moved around? Did everybody get some? I still see some over there. This is a chunk of native copper from the upper peninsula of Michigan. I can feel it. It rings.

Being interested in industrial archeology, and mining, and things I want to keep that in mind. I know there was one person in here who was in San Francisco, too. Anybody in the NCPT in San Francisco in 2012? Okay. I’m going to give a little story that I gave them, so these people haven’t heard it.

The seed for this talk was sewn when I saw three generations of visitors come in to a mine site. It was a tall building, bunch of machinery. The grand dad, he looked around. The dad went over to the TV. And, the kids were standing on the shaft cap texting. Right below them was over a 9,200 foot … at that time when it was operating, it was the deepest single shaft in the world, I think. They claim it was. What I looked at was that phone. Look at that, those kids are piddling around with that. They should be paying attention to this. The problem was the site had lost their attention. What we have to do is figure out a way to keep the kids’ attention, and if it’s going to be on that mobile device, then that’s where we have to get the attention.  The chance is not to forbid use of cell phones, but to find a way to make them relevant.

Digitalization. To do this, we need to borrow some things from digitalization and use them in the management of cultural resources. There are three components. First thing you have to do is identify the assets. Second this is collect them. Third thing is to find a way to get those shared with the public.

Using this copper from the mine as an example … just give you the overhead here. We identify the assets. So, down in this hole, they’d already found a vein. They’re in there mucking it out, shovels, picks. They’re starting to clear away the stuff to find the metal that they’re going to dig. So, the tools they’re using spades, shovels, ladder and they’re getting ready to form the shaft collar.

Once you identify those assets, you have to collect them. I’ve used this example here, which is another conversation piece. It’s a locomotive powered by compressed air. It was in use at the Victoria Mine. They were using air compressed by the Tailor air compressor … no moving parts, didn’t cost a thing … to power this to run the cars two miles back and forth to the mill. Come on.

And then, this loading dock represents a portal … a web portal, or gateway. Here it’s providing a facility to load the copper ore into the ship, but it’s also unloading the coal that goes back to power the mines. So, this is representing a two-way street. That’s what we need to keep up. When this process was going on, I would imagine that this mint was in the business of minting copper pennies.

In my research, I looked at how the heritage was being presented on the internet. Here’s just a sample of some conventional websites. Typical. There’s a home page, there’s navigation, probably a search bar, some links, they’ll have schedule of activities … you know the drill. On the other side, we have these examples of web portal … get this in mind. These people don’t have a particular theme. They’re a brand. In fact, if I look over here, if I want to find what the ASCE has on their website, I have to type them in. I have to know about this. Like the Library of Congress and their pictures. Over here, these people find me. I don’t go into Amazon. They have API’s that are finding out that I’m looking for a battery charger some place and then that ad comes up.

In contrast to these business, however, heritage has a different need. The heritage manager of a heritage site … it’s an organic thing, it’s growing, it’s a living thing, rather than these people over here … because the heritage site is a member of that community. So, what I want to do, I want to ask you some questions, and see if I’ve gotten my point across yet.

So, we’re going to just pick up some sort of … you think of a heritage site. What’s an asset? Give me an asset of something at some site you’ve worked at. If I’m going to build my thing, my heritage site, I’m looking for assets. What is one?

Speaker 2:           350 year old hickory tree at [Stradford 00:19:17] Falls.

Speaker 1:           An old hickory tree. Okay, what else?

Speaker 3:           Bridge.

Speaker 1:           Bridge. Good, just spit them out. I need some more. Especially from the academics. What’s an asset?

Speaker 4:           An intangible sense of being in that place.

Speaker 1:           That’s an asset.

Speaker 5:           Experience.

Speaker 1:           What about the photographs? What about the documents that can be scanned? What about the people that can do that? What about the laser scans? Here’s the problem. We’re thinking about what we do. We’re not thinking about what the people are doing. I’m being careful, again, give me a break on this. I’m just being a general. The assets are anything that can be contributing to the success of a heritage site. It’s the intangible. It’s the goodwill of the people that work there. It’s the building that’s along the highway that people see as they come by. Okay, so how are we going to collect those assets? This is a very important part of 3-D digital documentation. I’m going to speed ahead.

A video camera is a three dimensional video documentation technology. It records sound, color, and motion. And, there are millions of people who are doing that daily. Look at YouTube.

We have consumer that are using 4K video, high-definition, Bluetooth, all of that stuff to produce video content. They’re out there. We have people that are flying UAVs around. We have photogrammetry, hobbyists. It’s in the smartphone. Things we didn’t even have five years ago.

You have all of these technologies that can now start collecting this. So, now what we have to do then, is how are we going to collect them and put them into a business? Somebody has to manage that. There has to be a methodology of how are we going to do it. What are the standards? What are the legal issues of somebody that’s now working on this?

Let me go back to the assets for a second. One of the things that I notice was how easy it was to do. I did a field school in Colorado. Ten students did photogrammetry of their excavations. They were all right on.

I had another person send me pictures from an archway … and Italian hall archway … I made a 3-D model for them, sent it back. Then, we’re also going to be using that out … Jason sent me some photos. We put it together in a model, and it’s going to be the subject of one of our field sessions out here on Thursday. A full color 3-D model … or, scale model … of one of the barrel vaults at St. Louis, too.

I’ve said enough. It’s time for me to have any questions, answers, comments from all of you. Yes.

Speaker 6:           Tell us about your pennies. [crosstalk 00:23:10].

Speaker 1:           Wait a minute. No questions?

Speaker 7:           I actually have something.

Speaker 1:           Okay.

Speaker 7:           I work at a [inaudible 00:23:20] preservation office specifically in Georgia, I’m trying … traditionally I’m an archeologist … but, I also work with preservation. My primary goal at the Georgia [inaudible 00:23:32], is to do public outreach. One of the reasons that I’m here is unfortunately my office has been [inaudible 00:23:38] to send me just because I have a general interest in this kind of thing, but I am curious if there have been any major success stories, or great case studies about public facing offices that have incorporated these things into a public outreach effort?

Speaker 1:           I did not plant this lady in the audience. That’s exactly my point. So, what I’m looking at is doing that. I would really like your feedback. You’ll have our email addresses. I would like to hear from you if you have a project that’s doing that. Actually, I am proposing one, and what it does, it evaluates how it all works. It sets up the methodology. Here’s how you can use it in your community, or your site, or whatever that is, your entity. Document it, so that can be replicated to other people, and then also evaluate the effectiveness. And, what are the problems, does it work, and is there any financial benefit? Because, I do believe that these products … the media products … can go back through a network, and actually help fund the preservation by getting more people involved in the process.

Any other questions before I move on? Yes.

Speaker 8:           There are couple of comments-

Speaker 1:           Comment.

Speaker 8:           Well, first of all we’ve talked about the child, and you talked about the person who is at a valuable site and not looking at it, I think that’s a question that needs to be expanded more, because why we want people to actually get more savvy with technology and we want to encourage these sites to get more tech savvy with it. I can give you an example of people going to the parking lot, and literally the parking lot experience now is such that … I saw many visitors coming with a cover in front of their heads, and it’s not a transparent cover.

It’s not one where you’re actually seeing the movie, but it’s one of the augmented reality aspect, where you are coming inside, and you’re walking the whole sequence [inaudible 00:26:01] and you basically see a building constructed in front of your eyes. And, while that’s great I think to have that, and I think it’s also intermediate situation where sooner it will become much more fluid than what it is right now.

There will be a time where we will be looking at places that are technology free. Smoking free zones are being created now will become WiFi free zones at a later point, because the mountain of the influence of technology on our lifestyles, and the way we were perceive things … we are looking at the websites you gave here, they are making decisions about what we see and what we do not. It is how much decision making do you allow them to influence the other person is a critical question to be asking in such a situation.

The other comment point was about the fact that you talked about change, or what would be an encompassing way of seeing digitalization. I thought I had one which I wanted to share was possibly thinking about 3-D world. The world of digital reality not being anymore inside of 2-D world, where you’re seeing things in 2-D, you’re searching things in 2-D, but you’re making visual searches instead of word search, and those can [inaudible 00:27:25]. Even if you don’t know, because you can literally see it, you can explore so much more than you do with word search today. It can tag a lot more information including photographs and so on and so forth. That could be an interesting [crosstalk 00:27:45].

Speaker 1:           I think if we … I don’t know if you all heard this but basically she’s in agreement. As these things come from all of these directions, they’re bound to be molded into a good way, or bad way. Now, to that end William Cronin was speaking for the American Historical Association about the students that he had in his college class. He was concerned, he said that, “If something can’t be Googled, then effectively it doesn’t exist.” And, that has stuck with me for a long time.

Digital technologies give us an opportunity to rethink the way we’ve been conducting the heritage business. Everyone in this room has certain interests, talents, and skills. Think of the skyline of a city. You’re each a building. Here’s the Google building. Here’s the laser scanner building. Here’s the Chrysler building. And, between those buildings there are streets and communication networks, but together there all a community. It’s like Kansas City is a community you go to for barbecue. Denver for the Broncos, and New Orleans you go there for jazz.

So, everybody had a chance to take some pennies. Alright. The goal was to have all of you participate, and I would venture to guess that somebody maybe said, “If I take too many then there won’t be enough for somebody else.” Or, maybe somebody didn’t want to take any at all. Maybe they didn’t want to participate. But, the fact was, that there were enough pennies in that cup for all of us to go together and buy a cup of coffee at the Cafe Du Monde. Now, see I have enough left over.

So, in closing, as this conference unfolds, expect to see how technologies are getting better, and we’re understanding how they can be used better. That’s great. As you attend the sessions, keep the two thoughts in mind. Think big, but there are a whole lot of people out there who are as passionate about preserving our cultural resources as you. And, think ahead about how your work can be found in the Cloud.

Thank you.



Research on finding alternative means to fund the preservation of historical resources has lagged at a time when they face possible extinction by “Getting lost in the cloud”. Heritage managers must accept the fact that 21st century consumers will live in a digital world and anything that is not of that world will cease to be found. Studies conducted by industry professionals have determined that the business world is reinventing business models to meet market demands and additional investment is being made to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch-point in the customer experience life cycle. To underscore the importance of this realignment, a 2014 survey of children aged one to four found that seventy five percent of four-year-olds had their own mobile device and ninety six percent of the age group having access to such devices from age one. As current and future generations mature, these trends are likely to continue with people become increasingly more dependent on social connectivity to suggest, locate and deliver relevant information directly to them via their mobile devices. Heritage managers wanting to be found in the “cloud” will be forced to create new content and adopt a strategy to stay relevant to this emerging market. To address this challenge, this study identifies a suite of Digital technologies that convert the analogue and physical world into a digital one and forges a working relationship with Digitalization, a philosophy that capitalizes on the capabilities built into smart phones, tablets, and emerging mobile platforms to reach and expand the consumer base.

As Digital technologies have evolved, so has the perception that they are segregated and intended primarily for use in engineering/scientific or amateur/consumer applications. In contrast to this notion, the three-dimensionality afforded by these technologies differs only when considering them in the order of priorities; laser scanners and related image acquisition technologies document and visualize and inversely, consumer cameras visualize and document. Theoretically, this broad field of digital acquisition technologies represents a homogeneity of “tools” that all capture aspects of the physical “world” with a line drawn between them becoming blurred. Within this evolution, these “tools” are becoming less expensive, easier to use, and depending upon the application, can be operated successfully by individuals having modest or semi-professional skills. These capabilities become paramount when integrating Digitization into the planning and preservation efforts of the heritage organization.

Digitalization is a strategy that adopts recent advancements in Internet Technology (IT) to make the most of the digital resources that are available to an enterprise or historic property. Technically, Digitalization represents a transformation from a conventional web presence to one that is socially constructed and automatically adjusts to trends and changes in marketplace behavior. At the heart of this approach lies Digitization, or, the conversion of the analogue and physical world into a digital one. This approach argues for the collection and curation of “assets”, or, the “raw materials” that have relationships, however broad, to those historic properties. The flavor of these assets range from the artifactual properties of rich ethnographic and archival information to abstract concepts that consider falling plaster an “asset” when deterioration becomes the focus of a fund drive.

To date, no research or study linking Digitalization to historic preservation has been uncovered. This study has concluded that as digital documentation technologies become more engrained in heritage applications and innovative marketing approaches enable the capitalization on those deliverables, more research is called for to evaluate, replicate, study, and educate the heritage community in ways these technologies can significantly impact the preservation of our cultural resources.

Speaker Bio
Mark Dice has over 35 years experience in industrial and broadcast video media production and is completing a Master of Science degree in Industrial History and Archeology degree at Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan. At Michigan Tech Mark invited students from the School of Technology to cooperate on several laser scanning and photogrammetric missions on campus and at the historic Quincy smelter. At a Colorado field school he taught photogrammetry and reviewed the results with the ten students attending. Mark is researching ways digital documentation technologies can be used to preserve and interpret industrial heritage sites and landscapes.

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