Project of Interactive Comunities for the 22nd International Conference SIGGRAPH 95, presented by the Professional Group SIGGRAPH Ciudad de México.

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Part 2


To create a "page" for the World Wide Web (WWW), that shows a cultural aspect of México. The first idea is to present the National Museum of Antropology of México City or another museum which is representative of our country.
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The proposal.

On January 10th, 1995, at the 5th monthly meeting of the Professional Group SIGGRAPH Ciudad de México, the project proposal was made, and volunteers were requested to develop it.
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The start of the project.

The first meeting toward the development of the project was on January 18th, 1995, on this date the project officialy started.

At the first meetings, suggestions were made about which museum would be more convenient to present, as well as for the structure and general contents of the page. Because among the volunteers there are persons who did not know how the WWW works, a brief explanation was given about how it works, its features, the requirements to start a page for the WWW, the scope of the project was defined, and the deadlines that were set by the SIGGRAPH 95 Conference organization committee were noted.

One of the first decisions made, was the selection of the National Museum of Anthropology of México City as the main topic of the page, naming it as the "National Anthropology Webmuseum of México", thus the project officialy started.
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Visits to the museum and to the WWW.

Based on the need to better know the topic to develope, several visits to the National Museum of Anthropology were made. We visited the anthropology and ethnology halls, we learned about the history of the museum and of the persons who helped in its realization. In a similar fashion several pages of the WWW were explored, including a number of museums like the Vatican Museum and the Louvre.
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To implement a page of the WWW it is necessary to write the texts using a language or format called HyperText Markup Lenguage or HTML. A brief course was given for the persons in charge of the transcription of the texts which will be included in the page of the museum. This language allows to show the information with different fonts, to include images, and to create "links" to other documents, or places in the WWW among other options. One of the big advantages of the HTML is that it can be implemented and read in any computer platform. To be able to read the pages generated in HTML and settled in the WWW it is necessary to use a "Browser". Among the most popular browsers are: Netscape, Mosaic and Linux.
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Copyrights I.

The National Museum of Anthropology and other museums from México, belong to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). They regulate the use of documents and images of the pieces which are part of the national patrimony. That is why it is necesary to get permission from the Legal Department of such institute, to be able to use images of the pieces planned to be included in the "National Anthropology Webmuseum of México".

While several team members interviewed with the Legal Department of the INAH to get the permission to show the images and texts at the WWW, the rest of the team began the transcription of the texts to HTML format.
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The graphic identity.

Another point to develope is the graphic identity. This must be present any time while exploring the different texts, which are part of the page of the museum, so the user can easily know if he/she is still inside the museum's page or already left it. The HTML imposes certain restrictions for the creation of documents for the WWW. These restrictions should be taken in account to define the position and orientation of the different elements which are part of the graphic identity.
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The iconography is an integral part of the graphic identity, it is planned to use prehispanic icons for the navigation among the different files and texts which are part of the page.
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Aceptance of the project by the SIGGRAPH committee.

On March 30th, 1995, the team received good news. We received a fax and an email stating that the project was accepted and that we should send a brief description to represent it in the Visual Proceedings of the conference.
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Recently a language similar to the HTML was developed, it is called Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), It allows 3D images, and to move them around in real time (move, rotate, zoom, etc.). With this language it is possible to show representations of several pieces so the user could see them from several view points at will. After finishing the main part of the project it is planned to include at least one page with this type of application.
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Copyrights II.

On April 7th, 1995, there was a meeting with the Legal Departament of the INAH, to tell us that they cannot grant the permission to put the information about the National Museum of Anthropology at Internet. They reasoned that anyone would be able to download the documents and images published in the page of the museum, without having any control over it.
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The project grows bigger (the WebMuseum of Latinoamerica).

As a result that it would not be possible to put the information from the National Museum of Anthropology, it was necessary to reset the idea; it was mentioned that several museums were interested to participate in the project. Considering the absence, until now, of virtual museums of latinamerica in the Internet, it was propossed the creation of a series of pages of these ones.
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