AthenaPlus / Digital storytelling for DCH – Innovative tools and services

maria teresa natale, Italy , Julien Brouillard, France

In the frame of the european project AthenaPlus[i], DEDALE[ii] is leading a thinking on Culural Heritage valorisation and mediation in urban space thanks to new mobile services and digital storytelling. Within a work package dedicated to “ Creative applications for the re-use of cultural resources“, the two partners PACKED and DEDALE have worked on an overview of existing tools and services for the development of creative applications for the (re)use of digital cultural heritage. We propose a paper to present this work of survey including academic approach, projects mapping and specific recommendations.

This paper will explore the opportunities of digital storytelling and geotagging for the valorization of DCH contents (such as Europeana) in the European cultural venues or in urban space. It will focus on concrete applications for education and tourism: mobile services for museum, enriched exhibitions, innovative tour of cultural heritage (castles, urban strolls, architecture, gardens, parks, city as a museum, city as a new learning environment…) and serious games.

Our contribution will present the implications of digital storytelling for cultural heritage with a key question: how user services and tools can change the relationship with the heritage object, redesigning heritage mediation. It will be a special focus on 3 main stakes:

1. Users involvement : Active users for a new vision of digital heritage: sensitive and collaborative

In the age of digital storytelling, many services (videos and photos sharing platforms, social networks) are based on the personalization of the user experience, engagement and participation by “User Generated Content”. In this context the main stake is to create tools for structuration and reuse of this important volume of data and metadata from users, sensitive and collaborative, giving a new vision of museum collection, digital heritage objects, art works…

2. Immersive and responsive devices for a complete user experience

Immersive audio and video guides (for tourism or museums), interactive maps (getting historic information out of a given place), transmedia web documentary (with a story adapted and declined on several medias) accompany users all along their visit experience with a lot of documents, resources and information. With digital storytelling the challenge is the contextualization and personalization of these data in order to present to the user digital content which makes sense for him/her in a given context.

 3. Mobile and generative storytelling devices for a real enriched visit space

The user does not have to click on his device to receive content – the device just “listens” to his behavior and translates in real time this pattern in a story stream. Being engaged and immerged with the geolocated content, the user can interact with the content of the story by changing and adjusting his/her trajectory and/or behavior. As users of mobile devices, we are familiar with getting content just by touching an interface (touchscreens). We begin to play with natural speech interfacing (Siri), but now we can also take the whole human body as input command for data retrieval, on the scale of the human body (meters, not pixels), within this natural context (the city, the visit space…) not the trackpad or the mouse).

The oral presentation of our paper will be based on visual and interactive documents: Animated presentation with pictures and videos.


[i] AthenaPlus [1] is a European funded project coordinated by the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle biblioteche italiane (ICCU) and it is composed by 40 cultural partners including museums and archives from 21 Member States countries. The principal objectives of the AthenaPlus project are to collect more than 3.6 millions metadata records to Europeana from museums, cultural institutions, libraries, archives; improve search, retrieval and re-use of Europeana’s content; and experiment with enriched metadata their re-use adapted for users with different needs (tourists, schools, scholars).

[ii] Dedale is a European research and production agency dedicated to culture, technologies and innovation. Its field of activity covers artistic production, local development, events management, research, consulting for public authorities and European institutions.
It develops an expertise especially in the field of Cultural policies, ICT and cultural heritage, European digital libraries, Innovative and creative learning, Tourism 2.0, New uses, Mobiletechnologies and Smart cities…
Dedale is particularly interested in innovation and new uses in sectors such as urban planning, new media, artistic creation, cultural heritage, environment and education.
Since 2004, Dedale has been mandated by the French Ministry of Culture to coordinate the French participation in European projects in the field of digitization and valorisation of cultural heritage. Moreover, it is a Board member of Michael Culture and is involved in the MINERVA network (MInisterial NEtwoRk for Valorising Activities in digitisation) and takes actively part in the construction of the European digital library through European cooperation projects such as Michael, Athena and Linked Heritage.
Dedale is frequently involved in European programmes such as Culture, eLearning, PCRD, eTen, Eranet …

Dedale projects are organised around the following activities:

  • SmartCity: European programme dedicated to creative, collaborative and sustainable cities (meetings, workshops, artistic residences, production of worksin situ)
  • Emergences Festival: international festival of new artistic forms and new media (meetings, performances, installations, electronic music)
  • D-Lab: media lab supporting innovative artistic projects and residence programmes
  • Support and consulting for cultural networks and public authorities: digitisation and valorisation of the cultural heritage, new tools and new learningenvironments, new artistic practices and new uses, emerging art forms and new cultural venues

Dédale is funded by the European Commission, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the “Région Ile-de-France” and the “Ville de Paris”.


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