A network of European historic gardens
Full project title: HORTONET - A network of European historic gardens
Duration: September 1998 - September 1999
Funded by: Trans-European Telecommunications Networks
Project lead: John Counsell
UWE more recently worked on a multimedia Trans-European Telecommunications Networks funded pilot study to create a network of linked historic gardens and landscape parks.
A prime goal of this project was to enhance public understanding by enabling the visual display on the web of comparative design influences and planting across Europe, for both primary and secondary interpretation.
Landscape design influences in particular have often been pan-European or global, so it was argued that understanding for most was hampered by the constraints of opportunity and distance, which the web might serve to overcome. The popularity of gardening books and of garden visits demonstrated the market.
This process assisted in identifying useful GIS based techniques for recording and retaining original digital imagery with associated metadata. Most of the data with which to create a credible sense of presence were digital video, digital panoramic images, and high-resolution digital photographs, together with associated botanic and historic information.
It proved possible to capture sufficient photographic imagery to create a credible sense of presence for a site with two staff in one day. (The same staff can process and edit the material within a week.) However, the critical conclusion was that the on-going data management of a web-site of the predicted eventual size and complexity would be challenging, since a major goal was to acquire a continuing record set of images for each stage of growth in each season, each year.