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Digital Underground

Color The Temple: Using Projected Light to Restore Color

Matt Felsen, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Department; Erin Peters, Former Chester Dale Fellow, Department of Egyptian Art; and Maria Paula Saba, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Department

Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2015

One of the goals of the MediaLab is to explore the use of design and emerging technologies to improve the museum experience. Projection mapping, also known as spatial augmented reality, is a technology that can turn physical objects and buildings into a surface for projected light. This technique creates an enhanced experience for the audience by combining digital information with real objects. While the MediaLab was exploring how projection mapping could be used in the Museum, an opportunity arose to collaborate with the Department of Egyptian Art.

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Digital Underground

All Who Serve the Museum's Mission: The Staff

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital

Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2015

Just as the buildings of The Metropolitan Museum of Art have been growing and changing since the Museum first opened, so too has the staff. Despite the inherent importance of the staff, the first several decades of Annual Reports frequently only listed senior staff and the trustees; the Board of Trustees simply recognized support staff as being "much appreciated" in early reports. However, in 1926, fifty-five years after the Museum's founding, the growing number of staff—specifically the support staff—was too large to ignore. That year's Annual Report offered the following comparative figures to help provide some perspective:

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Digital Underground

Data Stories Centralized: A Digital Analytics Dashboard

Elena Villaespesa, Digital Media Analyst

Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2015

The volume of digital activities generated at the Met is pretty impressive, reaching millions of users through multiple channels: videos, social media, website updates, email campaigns, blog posts, the app, audio guide, in-gallery interactives, and more. With so many activities, it's important to track the impact of each project in order to set priorities and allocate resources. This is where data can help, and one of the keys to establishing a data-driven culture within an organization is to report the results internally. My colleagues already send regular emails with metrics about their projects, but as the digital media analyst, my role is to go beyond individual reports and present a full picture of work carried out by the department. With that in mind, I've started working on a dashboard that will display all the data in a single place. This will help monitor trends and compare the results of each of the digital initiatives within a wider context. The main objective of having a dashboard is to communicate the impact of our digital initiatives and to be able to make decisions in an effective and rapid way.

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Digital Underground

Close-Ups, Special Scans, and Purrfect Artworks: The Met Chrome Extensions

Emily McAllister, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015

The Met Chrome Extensions deliver an unexpected and intriguing experience each time a Google Chrome user opens a new tab by sharing a breathtaking image from the Met's Collection Online, fostering daily interaction and encouraging curiosity. Three distinct prototypes include the popular Meow Met, a peek into the extravagant lives of cats at the Met; The Met Magnified, which features extreme, abstracted close-ups of object details; and Micro Met, which explores ethereal perspectives of objects captured using a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

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Digital Underground

Next Steps in the Met's Digital Evolution

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer; and Loic Tallon, Deputy Chief of Digital

Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last week, the Met's Twitter feed marked the twentieth anniversary of the launch of the Museum's website. A look back at the press release, "Metropolitan Museum to inaugurate Internet homepage on World Wide Web," shows how forward-thinking the Met was at the time (this is almost two years before google.com was registered as a domain and before some major U.S. universities had launched their sites). It also shows how far we and the world of technology have come since then. Along the way, the Met created a Digital Media Department, about six years ago.

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Digital Underground

Experiencing the Met in Social Media

Carlos Kong, Former Social Media Intern, Digital Media Department

Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Throughout my summer internship in social media as a part of the Met's MuSe Internship Program, I have been fascinated by the interaction between our everyday digital practices and the museum experience. In what ways can social media supplement the Met's physical setting and present the experience of its collection to a global audience? This question guided my journey into the Met's digital world, where I spent the summer experimenting with the inventive potential of technology and how it can recreate a museum visit online. Now a month past the end of my internship—still thinking of social media's unknowable possibilities and still challenged by 140-character limits—here are my reflections on the experience.

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Digital Underground

Meet the Team: Elena Villaespesa

Eileen Willis, Web Group General Manager

Posted: Friday, October 9, 2015

One of our newest team members is Digital Media Analyst Elena Villaespesa, who joined the Met earlier this year. In this recently created role, Elena will establish and oversee an analytics program to monitor and assess departmental channels, platforms, and programs. She'll also conduct user research and develop reports to understand the fluctuations in data and identify trends and opportunities to optimize the department's (and the Museum's) digital projects. Elena plans to write about her work for Digital Underground, and she agreed to answer a few questions by way of introduction.

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Digital Underground

Multisensory Met: Touch, Smell, and Hear Art

Ezgi Ucar, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In the majority of museums, visitors can only experience the artworks by viewing them. Most museums work to make sure that galleries have neutral smells and sounds so that the visitor can focus on the artworks, but those factors can alter the experience significantly. All of the senses—sight, sound, touch, smell, and hearing—are a part of the museum experience.

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Digital Underground

The Original #EmptyMet: The Museum, ca. 1925

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital

Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015

From 1916 to 1923, the southernmost end of the Museum was, simply put, an empty shell, "void of any walls except those which were necessary for the support of floors and the roof" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 21, No. 4, Apr. 1926, 3). The completion of Wings J and K were long delayed due to insufficient city funding, followed by the onset of World War I and the economic depression of the postwar years. By 1923, funding was finally complete and the long-awaited plans of McKim, Mead and White, were actualized. Wing K opened on April 7, 1925.

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Digital Underground

The Flow Project: Connecting Colors and Movement

Qiu Yi Wu, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been a great space for me to work with things I'm passionate about while helping to create something innovative for the Museum. Don Undeen made me feel comfortable in my new environment, and I was able to meet and learn from the staff of many different departments. My goal was to translate Impressionist techniques into a live experience for visitors because it is an artistic style that has profoundly affected my work.

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About this Blog

The Digital Department leads the creation, production, presentation, and dissemination of multimedia content to support the viewing and understanding of the Met's collection and exhibitions, both within the galleries and online. This blog discusses a few of the activities of the department, and invites your questions and comments about the Museum's digital initiatives.