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Taiwan Presents Treasure Hunt Challenge and Digital Museum Platform

The Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC) teams up with the Chinese Association of Museums to launch the “Treasure Hunt Challenge” special event to commemorate International Museum Day on May 8.  As many as 22 museums, art galleries, and research institutions are utilising the Open Museum website to build 18 online exhibits.

In the current pandemic, new presentation and participation methods have diverged greatly from tradition. The Open Museum utilises digital technology to collect and convert research materials. It is also able to shift back and forth between real and virtual through interdisciplinary multimedia. Academia Sinica aims to strengthen and complement models of presentation and participation without limitation of time or space by expanding cooperation with external organisations.

The Open Museum also emphasises the building of collections, striving to assemble digital objects that are visible (large resolution) and usable. Through the “Treasure Hunt Challenge” event, the Open Museum has added over 17,400 new collection objects. In total, it has currently gathered a total of over 147,000 collection objects.

One of the long-term goals of ASCDC’s Open Museum is to allow anyone to make their museological dreams come true in the digital world. Therefore,  ASCDC has officially launched the Open Museum Plaza, a platform that allows anyone to upload their personal collections. It also integrates all of the Open Museum’s open collections, as well as timelines, maps, and other narrative tools, enabling digital curation.

This year’s online exhibit uses electron microscopes and 3D modelling for visualisation and an early movie camera technology. It covers diverse topics, spanning ecology, art, history, and even hot social issues including exploring Taiwan’s new normal after the pandemic world. The exhibits are all available online through the“Treasure Hunt Challenge” event webpage, publicly accessible from the comfort of everyone’s homes.

Since the Open Museum launched at the end of 2018, it has continuously adapted to the diverse types of data and narrative environments required by its cooperating institutions. They aim to seek new progress in the expansion and strengthen digital display and curation functions, including the addition of timelines, maps, and other data visualisation tools.

This year, the Open Museum has also worked with the Academia Sinica Biodiversity Research Center to develop the “Footprints” interactive map tool. The tool provides a new method of presenting large quantities of image data that can be used to trace the distribution of plants and botanic fieldwork across world maps.

The theme of this year’s International Museum Day is “Recover and Reimagine” so the digital expertise of Academia Sinica helps to advance the digital transformation of Taiwan’s museums. The strength of Taiwan’s museums will thereby be brought together. Digitalisation will allow presentations of knowledge and culture no longer to be confined to one place or one moment.

In the future, ASCDC will also utilise the Open Museum Plaza platform to strengthen collaboration with museums and schools, supplement educational courses, and assist local promotional activities. Through collection and curation, the public can participate online in the knowledge production of museums.

ASCDC will use the Open Museum as a foundation in creating interactive virtual museum spaces, facilitating the digital transformation of museums, and promoting equal rights to participation in digital cultural heritage.

Taiwan has been utilising technology to enhance its national cultural exhibitions at museums. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taiwan’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) teams up with Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) to film a series of “4DViews Chiang Wei-shui Clips”. They adopt 4DViews technology and utilise the latest 3D video capture technology in the world. The filming process includes four green screens and uses 32 camera sets to capture the entire 360-degree of the filmed subject. Currently, only Japan and Taiwan have studios outfitted with this system.

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