Title:The HyperMuseum Theme Generator System: Ontology-based Internet Support for the Active Use of Digital Museum Data for Teaching and Presentation
Authors:Robert Meersman, Steven De Bruyne, Peter Stuer
Publication:MW2001: Museums and the Web 2001

Museums have always been, sometimes directly and often indirectly, a key resource of arts and cultural heritage information for the classroom educator. The Web now offers an ideal way of taking this resource beyond the traditional textbook or school visit. While museums around the globe are embracing the web and putting virtual exhibitions, cultural databases and archives on-line, the educator (or user in general) is still facing the daunting task of integrating this material into an active document, course, curriculum or presentation. This paper reports on the construction of a personalized theme creation engine as a possible catalyst to the active use in secondary education in Europe of digital media published on-line by selected museums. The HyperMuseum Theme Generator System (TGS) is part of the HyperMuseum system, a European virtual museum portal (Fig. 1). Its function is to assist in the creation of so-called personalized themes. A personalized theme intends to allow the end user to bring together a unique collection of multimedia objects from the HyperMuseum Server, and to create a personalized rendering of the perceived and/or recorded relationships between these objects, realized as a new multimedia document (website, PowerPoint® presentation, hypertext or Word® document etc.). The TGS supports this creative expression both during the discovery phase, exploring the collection and discovering thematic relationships, as well as the realization phase, the construction of the resulting documents. The primary target audience is non-expert users mainly from the secondary education community. This work is partly supported by the Telematics Program (4th Framework) of the European Commission under Project nr. 3088 (HyperMuseum).