Empedia is a growing collection of online maps, audio tours, picture trails,video and interactive guides. It's designed for curators of cultural venues, organisations and attractions and for visitors and residents within the East Midlands region. The Empedia Platform is being developed by Cuttlefish Multimedia as part of the Renaissance East Midlands MLA Programme and is part funded by an sKTP Knowledge Transfer partnership with DMU
One of the first commissions on which IOCT is collaborating is a DH Lawrence trail around Lawrence's birthplace in Eastwood near Nottingham-due to be launched in June 2011
Guides are available via the Empedia website, iPhone App and the Empedia Player which can be embedded in other websites.
Plan, Assemble, Edit, Publish...
Planning Your Trail or Exhibition
Firstly, plot a route for your cultural guide on a map or plan of your venue, identifying key points of interest. Points can form a linear trail or be completely random. In some cases, multiple trails may be necessary, each having its own interpretation or narrative. If you have existing Google Maps, Empedia can also import trail data in standard KML format.
The next task involves collecting existing media or generating new content for each of the points of interest. In its simplest form this can involve repurposing the content of a leaflet as the basis of your Empedia guide. All content is digitised to the required formats and uploaded to the Empedia website via a password-protected login area. The Cuttlefish team can assist with this process. Empedia supports text, images, audio and video in a variety of formats. You can also include existing media from Flickr and YouTube.
Content Editing and Management
Each media resource (picture, text, audio clip, etc) can be positioned on a guide map or plan using simple 'drag-and-drop' techniques. For pin-point accuracy, Latitude/Longitude co-ordinates can also be input if required.
In the desktop version of Empedia, all of the media resources for an individual guide are displayed in a sequential list at the bottom of the player. Changing the position of media resources in the sequential list is achieved via a simple drop down box. (Drag-and-drop editing coming soon). Media resources can also be stacked together in one location (an image might be combined with several audio clips, for example).
All editing operations are conducted 'behind-the-scenes' in draft mode prior to public release. Empedia's one-click publishing updates the public-facing website, embedded players and iPhone App simultaneously.
Media resources are activated (narration, pictures, descriptions, etc) by clicking icons on the map or clicking thumbnail images in a sequential list. The Empedia iPhone App has additional 'locative' methods of activating resources, utilising mobile GPS and QR-code scanning technology.