Nederlands Openluchtmuseum's solution for managing an infinite amount of content: WoodWing Assets

On 23 September, the Netherlands Open Air Museum (hereafter: NOM) opened the presentation 'The Canon of the Netherlands': a multimedia, interactive overview of Dutch history, “from hunebed to the present”. While the use of multimedia content at NOM has changed and intensified in recent years, the production of the Canon presentation was the main reason for the switch to a new digital asset management (DAM) system.

An image bank had to be created that meets the requirements of the current market and that also offers possibilities with regard to links with various other systems. During a tendering process, Graphit emerged as the winning contractor thanks to a detailed plan of action for the implementation of the new system, including the desired links with, among others, the NOM website and with Adlib - a collection management system in which all works from Dutch museums can be found. and which NOM naturally also uses.

Powerful search system

The NOM works a lot with visual material; For example, the Marketing and Communication department needs images for the museum's exposure, the Education department for the educational program and the Collection and Management department uses images to supplement the registration of the entire collection. The Canon presentation would mainly use digital multimedia: photos, videos, presentations.

A digital asset management system (DAM) needed to be able to handle all the required content. The museum wanted a system where you no longer have to search through a scout, but could find exactly what you are looking for via a powerful search system, or quickly find something in the direction you are looking for using a search term and filtering. WoodWing Assets is just such a system.

Manage HR content

Graphit, together with the future key users of WoodWing Assets, carefully examined how the organization works, how departments work together and how images were used at that time. In addition to the image bank of the Marketing and Communication department that was due for replacement, NOM uses the Adlib collection management system, as mentioned above. It describes more than 150,000 museum objects and 300,000 photos, books and other documentary material of the NOM. However, this system is not suitable for also managing the many high resolution (HR) images that the museum has, such HR content fits better in a new image bank.

Elvis screenshot 1

Direct link

That is why WoodWing Assets (DAM) was created. All HR images of the objects in the museum collection had to be stored and managed in Elvis from now on, but Adlib would remain the leading system for the substantive information about those objects. Graphit established a direct link between the two systems, so that the images from Assets for each object are linked to the information from Adlib. Elvis is periodically fed with the most important data of the collection, and in Adlib a thumbnail is shown for each object from Elvis.

In short: the systems are synchronized, so that everyone can work in their own way with the required content, and all the material is available in HR.

Get rid of the folder structure

Graphit helped to think about the most effective and efficient way to organize the thousands of existing images and to put them in the new general image bank WoodWing Assets. This required a different way of thinking, and that was a huge eye-opener: no more thinking in maps.

A folder structure is unnecessary, it is better to throw everything together and divide it conveniently with as much good metadata as possible. With the help of the right tags you can quickly find what you need. For this you have to think carefully about the keywords to be used and agree on how to determine and name this.

Think differently

Where previously complete sentences were sometimes used as descriptions, for the new Assets image bank they had to die for meta tags: concise keywords. Graphit taught the key users of NOM to look at images differently, and to literally name what they see. Within such a DAM, collections can be created by using the same tag. A collection thus becomes a shortcut instead of a folder. This requires a different way of thinking that is new, but which everyone soon agreed is a very strong tool.

Impressive implementation

The result of the implementation of WoodWing Assets is impressive. Maps are no longer used and the metadata of images is done in an unambiguous way.
Colleagues are very pleased with the speed of Assets, and people who work with collection material can now find things faster.

It turns out to be an indispensable system. The greatest benefit is having all images stored centrally, their findability, and the fact that Elvis serves as a source of content for various platforms and can handle gigantic amounts of data. Elvis is also linked to the NOM website so that collections can easily be accessed via the website. You can see a nice example of the online collection at the website of the NOM.

Crucial for the future

Elvis also plays another crucial role for the NOM. In preparation for the relocation of all collections to a central depot, the entire collection is photographed and these HR images are imported into Elvis and linked to Adlib. This means that around 30 terabytes of photos will be stored in WoodWing Assets until early 2020.

Elvis will serve as the sole storage location for all HR content for daily use by the various departments, as well as for the other collection content (photos, videos and documents).
Assets will be and remain extremely important for NOM in the coming years. And they are very grateful to Graphit for this.

Want to know more about what a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution can do for you? Then contact us.

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