Marc A. Smith
Community Technologies Group
Digital Technology in
Columbia University Art History and Archaeology Professor Stephen Murray and his colleagues invite you to consider the Middle Ages through the intensive study and documentation of its architectural monuments in the heart of France: parish churches, abbeys, cathedrals, castles, manor houses, mills, granges, cities, and towns. The historic region of the Bourbonnais flourished in the eleventh and twelfth centuries immediately prior to the dramatic turn of history when France became France. The growing Web resource presents this unique research — chronicling the documentation of over 100 Romanesque structures through comprehensive digital photography and three-dimensional QuickTime nodes.
This online resource allows churches to be found alphabetically or spatially, by typing a name or by moving the cursor over the map where the churches are represented with accurate small-scale plans. This spatial experience is sustained in the graphic representation of the churches, all of which can be visited through QuickTime Virtual Reality panoramas. Also available are complete three-dimensional models for a dozen churches.
This project, developed with teams of student helpers in the framework of a summer field school, brings the student to the monument with new questions, new techniques and new enthusiasm. Conversely, it brings the monument to the student not as a single isolated edifice, but as part of much larger enterprise that can be understood as the production of space. It is only when we translate the old style-based thinking and language of art historians into new modes of representation that we can begin to grasp the complex relationships between architectural production and the creation of regional and supra-regional cultural identities.
About Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray was educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1986 and currently serves as Director of the Media Center for Art History, Archaeology & Historic Preservation. His publications include books on the cathedrals of Amiens, Beauvais and Troyes; his current work is on medieval sermons, story-telling in Gothic, and the Romanesque architecture of the Bourbonnais. His field of teaching includes Romanesque and Gothic art, particularly involving the integrated understanding of art and architecture within a broader framework of economic and cultural history. He is currently engaged in projecting his cathedral studies through the electronic media using a combination of three-dimensional simulation; digital imaging and video.
Pictures of Traces of Places,
Marc A. Smith
Netscan (http://netscan.research.microsoft.com) is a set of tools and services for online communities. Netscan manufactures “social accounting metadata” about Usenet newsgroups and web boards, providing reports about discussion spaces and individuals that highlight patterns of activity and contribution in tabular and graphical forms. We have recently developed faster data update models, new Web service interfaces, a custom community portal page, and a new information visualization application (“Usenet Views”) that makes it simple to map and chart newsgroup communities. New sources of community content, from web boards, forums, discussion boards, email lists, and related repositories of threaded conversation are being analyzed by the Netscan system.
Sharing Location and Media (S.L.A.M.: http://www.msslam.com) explores mobile social networking and photo sharing among users of Windows Mobile devices. S.L.A.M. allows users to create groups of other users with whom they can share selected pictures and messages. With their permission, users can also publish their location to one another. This system is being extended to integrate additional sensors and richer support for space-time trails. SLAM XR (eXeRcise!) (http://www.msslam.com/slamxr/slamxr.htm) is a web application which explores the social uses of these novel documents of travel patterns and activity.
SNARF (http://www.research.microsoft.com/community/snarf) applies the concepts explored in the Netscan project to personal collections of email. SNARF provides tools to implement “social sorting” – reordering email collections based on the strength of different dimensions of the relationship between sender and receiver. For example, using SNARF, unread email from people can be ranked higher if they are often replied to by the user. A by-product of this tool is the generation of a high-dimensional dataset describing the structure and temporal patterns created through the exchange of email overtime. This dataset offers useful insights into the nature of email-based communications. Results from initial deployments of SNARF will be presented along with recent images generated by the SNARF Views extension to SNARF.
The Advanced User Resource Annotation system (AURA: http://aura.research.microsoft.com) is a platform for Pocket PCs, Smartphones and mobile PCs that have various kinds of sensors such as barcode readers, digital cameras, WiFi signal strength detection, radio frequency identification (RFID) tag readers, and GPS. Using AURA today, users can scan the barcodes on everyday objects in the home, office, or store and gain access to related information and services such as competitive pricing and product reviews. Other kinds of tags, such as tags placed on art or equipment asset tags, can be easily linked to related data through Web sites or Web service interfaces. This talk covers several developments in the mobile annotation space and describes future directions for AURA and related services.
About Marc A. Smith
Marc Smith is a senior research sociologist at Microsoft Research (MSR) specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer mediated interaction. He leads the Community Technologies Group at MSR, and he is the co-editor of Communities in Cyberspace (Routledge), a collection of essays exploring the ways identity, interaction and social order develop in online groups.
Smith’s research focuses on computer-mediated collective action: the ways group dynamics change when they take place in and through social cyberspaces. Many “groups” in cyberspace produce public goods and organize themselves in the form of a commons. Smith’s goal is to visualize these social cyberspaces, mapping and measuring their structure, dynamics and life cycles.
This research offers a means to gather historical data on the development of social cyberspaces and can be used to highlight the ways these groups differ from, or are similar to, face-to-face groups. Smith is applying this work to the development of a generalized community platform for Microsoft, providing a web based system for groups of all sizes to discuss and publish their material to the web.
Smith received a B.S. in International Area Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1988, an M.Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA in 2001.