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Grab your cameras. Fall is upon us.

By far, my favorite season of the year at the IMA is fall.  Currently we’re right into the series of weeks where the grounds transform into this amazing color palette of reds, oranges and yellows.  I happen to start working for the IMA late September three years ago, just in time to experience the magnificence and get hooked.

Indianapolis Museum of Art Garden, Pony Bridge contributed by Terry.Tyson

Indianapolis Museum of Art Garden, Pony Bridge; contributed by Terry.Tyson

I’m not the only one captured by the seasons, as shown by the IMA Flickr Group.  As of this writing we have over 200 members and we are pushing dangerously close to 2000 images!  It’s wonderful to see the many vantage points brought together to a single point on the web.

Here’s a few photos I captured three years ago shortly after starting at the IMA.  They are not altered in any way.  I always revel in these photos and tell people about them.  So I am taking my opportunity now to share them with you.

Grab the extinguisher. This trees on fire.

Grab the extinguisher. This tree's on fire!

Check out the latest additions to the Flickr group and please join us by sharing your fall photos as well.


An early look at TAP

As publicized on the exhibition web site and in IMA’s Previews Magazine, we will be offering an iPod Touch driven multimedia tour of our exhibition, Sacred Spain, called “TAP into Sacred Spain”.  The software development side of TAP is mostly complete.  Now the work primarily lies in the hands of the content creators.  TAP’s software design is somewhat interesting in itself.  The content creators actually manage the tour content in a Drupal powered web site.  We can export the tour and all associated media from the site as a plugin for the iPhone application.  We developed an XMLSchema, TourML (pronouced “turmoil”), in which we conform to.  The Dallas Museum of Art is actually using the same format to drive a tour that is not a native iPhone app, but rather a mobile aware web site.  They have an excellent video podcast which describes this.  You can find out more about this collaboration and more by visiting the MuseumMobile Wiki.

I’m going to let the images do most the talking, but please note that none of the design or content is completely finalized below.  Read the rest of this entry »


Capitalizing on Perception

One thing we’ve learned from the recession is that movies are now considered “recession proof”.  People need the escape.  This can easily be seen from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which had a $160 million 5-day opening.  It was also the fastest movie to ever reach $350 million world-wide. I was somewhat surprised to find out that this movie would be offering an IMAX 3D experience as well.  Typically I think of the animated movies which can fairly easily crank out a 3D version of themselves.  However, digitally adding 3D scenes to a filmed movie requires a great amount of work from the production companies.  Why do it? Money of course.

© Dreamworks Animation

Monsters vs. Aliens © Dreamworks Animation

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Project Management System @ the IMA

One of the more complex software projects we have undertook at the IMA happens to be the one we talk least about publicly. Athena, is a Project Management System created by the IMA back in late 2007. At the time, there was a lack of a good open source solution and online commercial alternatives did not allow us to own the data. It also was our first chance to cut our Drupal teeth. I’m happy to look back at 18 months and see that it has been used quite successfully by most of the staff (and a lot of non-staff).

A view of a user dashboard

A view of a user dashboard

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Coming Soon: Google Wave

google_wave_logoSocial networks are going to be redefined.

Trying to keep up-to-date with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. is not a new problem.  There are entire desktop applications dedicated to aggregating this content for your consumption. Still I find myself drowned by the noise. It would be optimistic to say that a quarter of this social stream directly interests me. Additionally this content is decoupled from other forms of communication (i.e. SMS / e-mail).  These are some of the reasons why I am excited about the prospects of Google Wave.

Last week Google announced what can best be described as a communications platform.  It mixes traditional e-mail with a slew of modern features.  Real-time collaborative editing, event planning, and a game of chess are just a few of the tasks you can carry out from within the platform. — Anyone used SubEthaEdit? — The engineers developed Wave by asking themselves what e-mail would look like if it were invented today. The result is e-mail on steroids.  Read the rest of this entry »


About Charlie

Job Title: Director of IMA Lab

Interests: Anything outdoors (golf, fishing, etc.)

Favorite Movies: Maverick, Lord of the Rings III

Favorite Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bare Naked Ladies, anything of the alternative variety

Favorite Food: Did it moo?

Pets: a dog named Sadie and an ungrateful cat

Something you should know about me: I have a habit of clinging to a single habit only to move on to another habit thereafter

Charles has written 20 articles for us.