Sydney collaborates with ABC on Gallipoli
22 April 2009
Staff from the University of Sydney's Archaeological Computing Laboratory (ACL) have collaborated with the ABC Digital Innovation Unit to develop an immersive, interactive website about the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The ABC is launching the Gallipoli: The First Day site to coincide with Anzac Day.
The website explores the key events and characters of this part of Australia's history through spatially based sound, text and video overlayed onto a 3D digital terrain model of Gallipoli. It also has a 3D exploration of the ANZAC landing, an interactive timeline of the campaign, and profiles of ANZAC and Ottoman soldiers.
The ACL's primary contribution to the site was the provision of database approaches to modelling historical data. Software developed by the ACL, called Heurist, played a crucial role. It also supplied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for the site, by building upon a 3D digital terrain model of Gallipoli that was supplied by the University's School of Geosciences.
A number of University staff were involved in the 'Gallipoli: The First Day' project, including the Director of the ACL, Dr Ian Johnson. Andrew Wilson, GIS Data Coordinator for the ACL, undertook geo-referencing of historical maps for the project. Steven Hayes, Business Development Manager for the ACL, worked extensively on the Heurist database, along with Kim Jackson and Maria Shvedova.
Heurist is a generic database structure that collates and links the historical information - events, people, locations - and relationships between them. This complex assemblage of data was then exported for display in the interactive, 3D visualisation environment built by the ABC Digital Innovation team. In this way, Heurist provided the platform for data that is presented in a 3D online narrative of action around Gallipoli.
The Heurist database allows the extensive historical data to be maintained, edited, extended and used for other purposes. It contains about 1000 records for the Gallipoli website, including information pertaining to events, people and multimedia resources.
The ACL is part of the Digital Innovation Unit (DIU) in the Faculty of Arts, in partnership with PARADISEC and Sydney eScholarship. These three units in the university work in the growing field of digital humanities. The DIU promotes e-scholarship in the humanities, arts and social sciences by providing a platform for information sharing, research support and technical innovation. It also enables new approaches to the use of digital methods in research.
Contact: Jackie Chowns
Phone: 02 9036 5404 or 0434 605 018