Smithsonian Institution News
March 4, 1998
What: The unveiling of the prototype of "Revealing Things," an innovative new Smithsonian online exhibition using the latest Web technology to show how everyday things can reveal a wealth of information about ourselves, our histories and our culture.
When: Thursday, March 5 (prototype will be online until Aug. 31)
Who: "Revealing Things" was developed by Smithsonian Without Walls, in collaboration with Razorfish and Plumb Design, both of New York City. Judith Gradwohl is the director of Smithsonian Without Walls, National Museum of American History.
"Revealing Things" points to a new direction for educational and cultural offerings online. Content driven, yet designed entirely for online presentation - taking full advantage of interactive technology - "Revealing Things" is being released as a demonstration prototype. The larger, fully developed version is under development and should be available as early as spring 1999.
Unlike at other museum sites, visitors to "Revealing Things" will be able to select the type of material they see and the context in which it is presented. Visitors to the prototype may also contribute their own objects and stories for use in the exhibition's larger version. Navigation is integrated with content using Thinkmap® (www.thinkmap.com), a Java-based application that creates interactive displays that allow users to understand the relationships in complex data.
Smithsonian Without Walls grew out of the success of the Smithsonian's first virtual exhibition, "Ocean Planet Online." The program explores the potential of new technologies to display engaging museum content in inventive, nonlinear formats. It sees online communication as an outreach tool to new audiences, including those with a variety of learning styles and interests.
Razorfish, Inc. (www.razorfish.com) collaborated with Smithsonian Without Walls to design and produce the prototype. An award-winning strategic digital communications firm, Razorfish is a leader and innovator in the emerging field of interactive media.
Plumb Design, Inc. (www.plumbdesign.com), the developer of Thinkmap®, collaborates with its clients to produce custom applications that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the interplay of ideas.
Office of Public Affairs, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560 (202) 357-4797