I was reading the kind blog post comments by Suhas Deshpande about our vodcasts, and found another blog entry there (by Corey Timpson) about a program called MemoryMiner. This is a way-cool application for creating storyboards from digital photos by tagging them (or pieces of them), annotating them, dating them, and linking them to a map.

Here is a quote from the website:
MemoryMiner is the first in a series of products by GroupSmarts, a company founded in December 2004 by John C. Fox, a recognized pioneer in the field of networked Digital Asset Management. The central idea behind MemoryMiner is a belief that the most interesting records of modern society and culture exist in analog form, “trapped” in boxes of old photos, letters and the like.

It is clearly intended to be a way to create a history of one’s family — using new and old family photos. The long-term goal is to connect these histories to eachother.

But it seems to me that no one has thought about the enormous academic potential for it.

Think about it — you could upload images from a period in art history, tag sections of the image (Mary, Christ, St. John, etc.), date the image, annotate the image, attach media files (audio files, vodcasts), connect the image to a geographical location (Florence, Siena, Padua — you get the idea), then you could sort the images by the tags, and by combinations of the tags — and what’s so cool is this is done graphhically within the program, so if you just want images of Mary, you drag a pic of Mary into the filter area, of if you want images where Christ appears together with St. John, you drag both of them into the filter area. You could follow an artist’s oeuvre chronologically the way you follow the life of your grandmother. You could follow iconographic elements within the image.

The thing is, this requires a “skin” in order to take the xml data and images to create a truly inteactive web page. I don’t think these skins exist yet. But just think of the authoring possibilities for students and faculty. Wow.


~ by Joseph Ugoretz on March 1, 2006.

One Response to “MemoryMiner”

  1. Hello:

    Thanks so much for blogging about this. As the author of MemoryMiner, I can’t help but be flattererd. My colleagues and I have been amazed at the many ideas people have had for using the application.

    For example, at Macworld, I had a teacher say to me “I teach World Music to kids, and they don’t know where Cuba is.” The fundamental idea behind MemoryMiner is to tell stories through the intersections of people, place and time. It’s a simple model, and can be applied to so many different subjects.

    At any rate, please feel free to get in touch info at memoryminer dot com. We’re readying version 1.04, which in addition to localization in several languages, will have the first Flash skin. In the near term, we hope to see a library of community-developed skins appear.


    John Fox–>

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