Descripción: MOBILE PLATFORM USAGE IN CREATING CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION DOCUMENTATION Vojin Nikolić, graduated en...
Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia-Belgrade
MOBILE PLATFORM USAGE IN CREATING CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION DOCUMENTATION Vojin Nikolić, graduated engineer of technology, Nemanja Smičiklas, painter conservator restorer, Aleksandar Ilić, programmer, Abstract: This paper describes the development process and practical use of COREDO application, designed for conservation documentation. It is based on the Android platform, and is optimized for use on tablet PCs with capacitive touchscreens. Purpose is to improve the process of collecting and processing the documents on the field through the use of all the benefits of advanced technology. Describes the creative process of creating an application, its features, and the vision of further development through the implementation of tools for reading hyperlink of the physical world and the integration of new virtual network register of cultural monuments.
We can say that today we live in a world of information-communication technology (ICT). All work, and all of life's activities are related, at least in some of its stages, with these technologies and devices. Conservation and restoration are no exception. Incredibly rapid progress in the field of informationcomunication technology creates new opportunities and ways of performing business tasks. The amount of devices and data that are in use today is stunning. Conservation Restoration Documentation – Beginnings To understand the need for the development of such applications, it is necessary to recall the history of the development of conservation and restoration of documentation. One cannot say with certainty when the first documentation for conservation and restoration was made. There are descriptions of the conservation and restoration works dating back to the sixteenth century, but the descriptions were of the observer, not the conservators. Pioneers of modern conservation scientists like Rathgen, Scott and Plenderleith, in their works do not mention the concept of documentation. In the book of Plenderleith from 1934, there are descriptions of specific treatments, which can be considered the beginnings of documentation, but there were more used as an illustration. 1
Even up to 1970s only a few museums have consistently recorded conservation works. It looks as if the documentation was done sporadically, and when they did, they were only reports with the few data. The best situation was when the conservator wanted to publish a paper in a journal, if so, the documentation was detailed. It is clear that the aperance of computers, digital cameras and laptops greatly facilitate the development of conservation and restoration documentation. Options have become practically unlimited. A large number of high-resolution images, its processing and use, texting, making drawings and presentations have become our everyday life. Notebook computers or laptops allowed us development of documentation in the field during the works. For this purpose, we mainly used the software that is not primarily designed for this purpose, such as Ps, Ai, AutoCad and other. With the development of technology began to appear specialised softwares which bring in one place together all the necessary tools for conservation and restoration documentation. Photo editing, mapping damage, drawing tracing and description of conditions and interventions. After all the above, the question is, why in this case we have such a poor and inconsistent documentation of conservation and restoration works? The answer probably lies in the use of different software, different equipment and most importantly the lack of what is now called computer literacy. Small is the number of conservators versed in the complex computer software, and most of those who use them only use part of their potential. To work in any of these programs it is necessary to obtain the software, long and thorough training of users, from the base of operating system on which the software is used to draw its maximum. This process is time consuming and very expensive. In addition, going to field work is a serious undertaking. In order to meet documentation requirements, it is necessary to take the proper equipment: laptop with suitable features so that the software can function easily and smoothly, digital camera, preferably a scanner, printer, and of course a bunch of cables and accessories. There still needs to add a certain amount of drawing paper and foil for taking tracings. Upon completion the documentation must be brought to the institution, then digitalised, which are additionally spent hours scanning the drawings and photographs, and finally store it on a server and media storage. According to the experiences in the field of conservation and restoration documentation, the appearance of the final product was determined by the use of certain software and more personal preferences of users. Currently the documentation consists of drawings with different quality, sizes and colors. From Idea to Realisation The project was launched at the beginning of 2012. The focus of the project was the documentation for conservation and restoration, as well as connecting with the central register of cultural monuments. To begin with, it was necessary to determine which kind of platform and what equipment will be used. Very soon the Android platform crystallized as a logical solution. The reason for this is the expansion of mobile devices that run on the Android platform, their availability, intuitive handling and hardware features that are recognized as very important in the development of this project. It is important to mention that most of the world's major mobile phone company and tablet-computer completely abandoned other systems and based solely on the Android platform. It is estimated that currently over 60% of smart mobile devices in the world works on android. The first version of the android appeared four years ago, a number of users are now over hundreds of millions. Such giddy success android owes to open source policy, whose development is led by Google, and a number of free mobile applications available for Android devices. 2
As for the devices, we decided it should be a tablet. If we consider that the preparation of documentation most of all reduces to writing, drawing or photo documentation it was not difficult to conclude that the tablet-computer is the ideal tool for this purpose. Such a small device contained all our needs. The appropriate application for text entry, then drawing applications, and finally integrated camera. Our job was to integrate these applications into one that will have all the characteristics to meet the needs of conservation and restoration documentation. In order to do that we had to take up a clear strategy for the project and set the conditions to be met by the application. First, the application itself should lead the user through the entire process of conservation and restoration documentation. In this sense, the application had to be intuitive and easy to use, also to users with no technical knowledge. Second, it had to consolidate all of our requirements, taking pictures of the object, drawing tracings and damages during research works and taking notes, as well as line in interventions during conservation and restoration work. Third, the application had to correspond with all apliances (printers, routers) and achieve full compatibility with other devices such as personal computers and mobile phones. Fourth, to provide wireless connectivity to remote servers of central register, which further implies the complete compatibility of data and the possibility of uploading and downloading files from the server. Fifth, capability that interfaces is entirely at the user's language which has to ensure the use even for people without the knowledge of English, or using some other language. The sixth, and last but not least to be clear and clean. Hiring programmer Aleksandar Ilic, of course, led to the logical extension of development strategy. In addition to the ultimate aims of the application must meet, it was necessary to select an appropriate methodology for software development, which allows more control over the process itself and the possibility of rapid intervention if the development goes astray. The choice was wide, from old-fashioned water flow models to extreme programming. However, only one software development methodology could meet the requirements-Lean methodology. Development of Lean methodology can be described by the following principles: Elimination of waste Importance of understanding Taking time to making decisions Delivering for testing as soon as possible Developing integrity Looking at bigger picture Future and vision The strategy for further development is the creation of technical and technological environment necessary for easier user experience and absolute automation of system. This involves setting the appropriate server for the central register of cultural monuments on which to base contained data exported from the application. Current plan is that servers would be open to all experts from relevant institutions in order to have easy access to the necessary information about a cultural monument that is a topic of their interest, also to upload back the data they collected themselves on field. In this way a network would be created through which it would be possible to share all information related to a 3
monument. One part of the database would be open to everyone, and would relate to the basic data on the monument, its history and a brief description of the conservation and restoration works. To ensure the availability of data plan provides setting up special board with QR codes on monuments. QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or twodimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan 1994. The QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity. A QR code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background. Applications of QR code include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, general marketing, and much more. QR codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards and on each object on which the user could require information. Users who have a mobile phone with a camera and appropriate software installed, they can scan the QR code image and thus read data or connect to the appropriate server. This way of linking with physical objects is known as a hyperlink to the physical world. Since tablet PCs have an integrated camera, the application in one of the phases of development will be enhanced with a bar code scanner and thus the user will be able in front of the monument to log in to the server and get all the necessary information about the monument, also on all previous interventions on it. Logically, these information will be available only to users of COREDO application, an expert in the field, while the ordinary visitor by scaning the QR code with his mobile device is to receive only basic information. Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulative. Artificial information about the conservation restoration works can be overlaid on the real mosaics. Conservator may in present time see all the former intervention on the mosaic by pointing tablet camera to the desired object, on the screen over his pictures will appear all mapping performed in COREDO application with relevant information. Further development of the system depends on the users themselves, i.e. their needs and work together with the developers. Hardware and operating systems already provide enough options, and when you take into account certain improvement of these components, it is clear that the development of the system is limited only by the user and material resources. When the system is fully rounded, possible future transfer to other platforms will depend only on the skill of the programmer.