Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Touch" the Venetus A

When the Homer Multitext project created digital images of the Venetus A manuscript, one argument for the project was that far fewer people would ever need to handle the codex again: the freely-licensed images could be used instead for most purposes.

In 2007 I certainly never imagined that you might interact with the images by touching a digital screen, but today you can read the Venetus A on an iPad thanks to the creative geniuses at the University of Kentucky's Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments. (Get the app from the iTunes store here.)

What everyone involved in the project certainly did recognize in 2007 was that we could not foresee what future scholars might do with our work. The images (like all the Homer Multitext project's work) are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license that explicitly allows their free reuse. Would this iPad app have been developed if the images were not freely available? Fortunately, we'll never know (or need to know). Thanks once again to the Biblioteca Marciana and everyone involved in the photography for making it possible to license our work freely.

So get the iPad app and touch all you want. (Now if I could find a budget line to get one of those new iPad 2 tablets...)


  1. This is really terrific, Neel! I look forward to "touching" the Venetus A, but, as you say, "I would like to find a budget line to get one of those new iPad 2 tablets..." ;-)

  2. Beautiful, beautiful - but on my parents' iPad (:-)) I can't seem to reach the server for the high-res images. I would love to be able to zoom or get twice the image size by turning 90 degrees. Can do without the translations (perhaps a preference to set in update 2.0?)

  3. Helma --as the post noted, the thing I really find great about this is that II had no idea it was coming: as far as I was concerned, it just fell from the sky. That happened because the images were freely licensed. So if you don't like the translations, the images are free, so you're free to build your own app. Just do it!

  4. Thankfully, images are now loading, so I'm happy.

    UK may yet offer some tweaks, so next time I visit my parents, I'll check for an update:-)

    I will be using the images in a class next quarter, and am very happy that that is possible, thanks to the Multitext project! My coding efforts, as you probably know, are directed elsewhere, though.