Experience the Garibaldi Panorama on Surface

Imagine you have a 140 year old print that is almost five feet tall, nearly the length of a football field, and printed on both sides. How do you provide this resource to scholars for study and teaching to others? The Garibaldi Project by Brown University with support from Microsoft Research’s External Research and the British Library, offers access to the panorama on Microsoft Surface with images, documents, web pages, video and audio narration. You can even use a pen to make notations. With a large vertical screen on the wall, you can also share both the panorama and other resources with others. This was a joint project at Brown with the Department of Italian Studies and the Library’s Center for Digital Initiatives where most of the effort started late last summer. The video below first reviews a concept for a Digital Scholarship Lab at Brown University, provides historical background on the Garibaldi panorama and concludes with a demonstration of the Surface application.

This project will be on display this fall at the British Library as a centerpiece in an exhibition about the future of digital scholarship. At that time the application will have even more features than shown below, and will be available for the public to interact with.

There was also investment from Microsoft Research’s External Research with Brown University to generalize the software so that it can work with other large format artwork like paintings, tapestries, collections of paintings and scrolls that can be stitched together. It looks very promising to me.

(Video: The Garibaldi Project)

Notable Features in the application include..

There are two screens for work and display running off Surface. The Surface screen contains navigation and additional information. The vertical screen removes the clutter, and is synchronized with the scrolling of the Surface screen used for sharing.
Hovering a hand over an information hot spot in the image opens a menu that lets you access additional related documents, videos, etc.
Flicking a document to the top of the Surface display will make it visible on the vertical display. All movement and resizing of the doc is matched on the vertical display. Multiple documents, videos, etc. can be interacted with in this fashion. Flicking them to the bottom of the Surface display removes them from the vertical display.
Web browser for external content with gesture support.
Magnification lens via object interaction. Lens movement and sizing is duplicated onto large vertical display.
IR-Light pen for notation and pen based gestures for moving and erasing notes.

Thanks @IanJSpector for the tip and Andries & Donnie for all the background information on this very useful project.

See Surface.com for more info on purchasing Surface, or our Technical Resources to learn how to develop your own applications.

- Eric (follow Surface on Twitter and Facebook)

Comments (2)

  1. MattShaw says:

    As someone working on this project at the British Library (it’s for an exhibition that will be called ‘Growing Knowledge: the Evolution of Research’), it’s been very exciting to see how this is shaping up – takes me back to my A-Level history as well!  Any suggestions for the exhibition are also welcomed – along with debate down the line.

  2. Francesco Garibaldi says:

    Hi Matt,

    I would like to contact you about this exhibition for a possible venue in Vancouver later this year.


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