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K-lab – who are we and what do we do?

K-lab is a cooperation between with Norwegian Mapping Authority, Arts Council Norway, Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the National Archives, with focus on making public data on cultural heritage and related geographical data more accessible, while also facilitating innovation through its reuse.

The team at K-lab coordinates the work of these four public bodies in cooperation with other relevant partners, to explore potential synergies, build skills and exchange knowledge in this area.

The collaboration builds on the expertise, experience and results of the project «Heritage Here» (Kultur- og naturreise in its native Norwegian) that ran from 2012 to 2015, as well as other relevant activities related to the sectors our partners represent. K-lab was founded in January 2016 and will tentatively run for one year.

So why the name K-lab? K stands for our shared content; heritage, culture, maps and knowledge (all of which start with a «k» in Norwegian). «Lab» is a reference to the cooperation’s shared focus on development, innovation and experimenting.

Activities
Although K-lab is in its infancy, it continues to develope the networks and explore technologies which are relevant post-«Heritage Here». 

Visualisation prototypes
In 2015, the project developed various web-based prototypes in cooperation with Norkart. These prototypes use a map as the users starting point. Here you can find examples which demonstrate a number of approaches for visualising and accessing different types of cultural heritage information from over 25 sources – such as content related to a particular area, route or subject. The code to these prototypes is openly available and documented on Github so it can be used by others – either as it is, or as a starting point for something new. K-lab is currently exploring further possibilites for building upon the work done with these prototypes to visualise, for example, 3D-content and cross-border data.

Nordic Linked Open Data
In its project form «Heritage Here», K-lab began a dialogue with Sweden’s secretariat for national coordination of digitisation, digital preservation and digital access to cultural heritage (Digisam) with the aim to deepen Nordic networking and exchange in the field of digital cultural heritage. In a more general respect, memory-institutions in all countries -not just the Nordic- face many of the same challenges as traditional cultural heritage meets rapid technological development. One example of this could be how memory-institutions all need to work more with open data. With regards to the Nordic region itself, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland have a cultural heritage that is in many cases common and cross-border, so there are substantive opportunities for cooperation.
Since the NORLOD conference in Malmø in 2013 the network has followed up with a Nordic linked open data conference in Oslo (October 2014) and several workshops in both Oslo and Stockholm together with relevant actors from the Nordic countries. Earlier this year ahead the network discussed ideas for a potential cross-border activity connected to the national hackthons already planned for 2016 with Nordic Innovation. Nordic Innovation could see the potential for this to fall within the scope of their lighthouse project Innovative Nordic digital solutions and in March this year the concept for Nordic GLAM was launched.

#hack4norden – Nordic GLAM
Working in partnership with Nordic Innovation, memory-institutions in the Nordic countries announced a Nordic GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums)-challenge which aims to encourage and facilitate cross-border activities by either using or combining data from other countries; working in a team together with members from other countries; or developing a solution with implementation potential in the Nordic region.  Nordic GLAM will be one of the categories at this years national hackathon #hack4no hosted by K-lab partner, Kartverket, on 28-29 October. It will also be a category featuring at hackthons in the other nordic countries. K-lab will be coordinating Nordic GLAM activities in Norway. More about the competition here.

Contact the K-lab team

Please send an email to the team at:

post@k-lab.no

Alternatively you can contact the partner institutions directly via the following contact people:

National Archives –
Håvard Johansen; havjo @ arkivverket.no / + 47 909 82 807
Arts Council Norway –
Lars Rogstad; lars. rogstad @ kulturradet.no / +47 450 04 970
National Mapping Authority –
Sarah McSeveny-Åril;  / Sarah.Mcseveny-Aril @ kartverket.no / +47 467 95 321
Directorate for Cultural Heritage –
Sidsel Hindal; sidsel.hindal @ ra.no / +47 480 06 055
Vemund Olstad; vemund.olstad @ ra.no /  +47 982 02 716

Postal address: Dronningensgate 13, Pb. 8196 Dep., 0034 Oslo
Visitors address:  Dronningensgate 13, Oslo

K-lab: Vemund Olstad, Sidsel Hindal, Sarah McSeveny-Åril, Lars Rogstad, Håvard Johansen. Foto: Tove Elise Ihler.
K-lab: Vemund Olstad, Sidsel Hindal, Sarah McSeveny-Åril, Lars Rogstad, Håvard Johansen. Foto: Tove Elise Ihler.