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 1

A different project and a new challenge.

The modification of the project brought new requirements and new challenges to surpass. We were all worried because the time to finish the project was reduced in great lenght [medida], but with a lot of entusiasm to reach the goals we proposed to ourselves.
One of the points we had to deal with, was directly related with the main advantage of the project, as it was made of several museums, we should make the group as coherent as possible, in the style as well as in the type of included informatio in all the pages. To help ourselves in the organization we defined the amount and type of information for each museum, and a format to name the files, we reorganized too the tasks each member of the team had to do.
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The chronicle and the logbook.

It was proposed to create a page including a summary of the logbook and to put in several links, which could take the visitor to updates, and extensions of the information or the logbook itself. Each one of these subpages would have more information about each topic.
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The WebMuseum has visitors.

We received Mrs. Nelly Decarolis from Argentina, who is the secretary of the ICOFOM-LAM (Museology Comitee from the International Council of Museums in Latinamerica), We showed her the pages that we already have, she was very interested in everything we developed. We also received the visit of Mr. Guillermo Andrade, and Mr. Hector Rivero Borrell General Director of the Franz Mayer Museum, they were very pleased and impressed about the work we have done.
Other museum interested on the WebMuseum project was the Nishizawa Workshop-Museum, located in Toluca City, Mexico, they thougt it was a good and interesting idea to have information about their museum in Internet, they gave us a book about the history of the museum, and explanations about their collections.
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Several little difficulties.

The transcription of the information from the Barquisimeto Museum was finished, and we began the translation. Normally, the texts and/or documents writen by and for the museums have a very particular style, because of this we had some difficulties with the translation, about some terms and with the style in general.
We have been doing the internal links between the different files and museums, and we began the serch of external links to other museums or places with related information.
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In search for images.

Obviously we wanted to include images in all museums, but as we could not visit all of them personally, we saw some videos. One was from Coro City, Venezuela and the other one was from the National Museum of the Mexico Viceroyalty. We check them to get some ideas of the type of images that can be used for the graphic identity, and to include on the Coro Museum page. It was also necessary to choose a type of images which could cover the different museums presented, thus it was suggested to use icons of the Colonial period, which has a wide range of images and it includes many of the museums or their collections.
It was suggested to write capital letters at the beginning of the paragraphs of the different pages of the museums, as well as the use of an antique map on the preface page. Many images were also showed in order to be used in the iconography of the project.
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VRML Tests.

We tested a program called Worldview, a viewer of VRML for Windows (the one we got was an Alfa version), and as it was an 32 bits application it required the use of Win32 (version 1.25 or higher). One of the important characteristics of the program is that it can generate anchors in some objects, in the similar way as in the links of the HTML for paragraphs and images.
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The Premier of the WebMuseum of Latinamerica.

One of the members of the group attended at the general conference of the ICOM (International Council of Museums), which was held in Stavanger, Norway. She took information of the Franz Mayer (Mexico), Coro (Venezuela) and Barquisimeto (Venezuela) museums, the Mosaic and the Win32 in order to install them at the computer that will be used in the conference presentation. After one week, when she came back, she told us what happened during the conference: she mention that everyone liked what she took, and what she showed from Internet, specially all the Latinoamerican representatives who saw the WebMuseum project becoming a reality.
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Some fine tuning.

One month before the official presentation of the WebMuseum of Latinoamerica in SIGGRAPH 95, we started a fine tuning. The writing and the style of the different documents was gone over, some typographical mistakes were corrected. In general, the dimension of the images was adjusted and some other things were corrected.
Some documents from the Franz Mayer Museum and the Ethnologic Museum of the Amazonas Federal Territory were checked and corrected.
The graphic identity design advance was checked. The graphic interface of the museums was checked, adjusting the position of the images, as well as the colors thet were used.
Two programs were tested, one of them is the WCVT2POV, a graphic program which has the posibility of translating 3DSTUDIO files (Autodesk) into the VRML format, and the other one is the final beta version of the NSCA Mosaic 2.0, that includes several characteristics considered in the last revisions of the HTML. Some conversion tests were made from 3DS into VRML and they were checked in the Worldview program. As part of these tests, it was designed a draft of the Barquisimeto Museum in 3DS in order to convert it into the VRML. Although the "navigation" is a little hard to do, after seeing the result on the Worldview program, it looks quite well.
At these tenseness days, we received good news, Silicon Graphics would provide us an Indigo Extreme 2 equipment to use it in our stand for the presentation of the project.
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The final touch.

The final idea for the main page (or cover page) of the WebMuseum was to show a graphic menu with the appearance of a colonial facade or a kind of cabinet, se we made several tests to use tables to show the images that we would use.
We made a page with information that would act as a link and give sense to the museums as well as to the project, this page was located as the Introduction Hall of the WebMuseum.
We checked the last version of the pages of the museums, the cover page (or entrance) is an antique map, pressing any point of the map, will transfer the user to the "Table of contents", which shows three frames, with three images each, when you press on any of them it links to the correspondent museum. The new version of the 3D menu for the WebMuseum is made in VRML, besides we add several anchors in it to link the different files.
We transcribed the bibliography and references used in the project.
We selected new images for the files of the Convents of Morelos State and for the Introduction Hall.
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