A couple of weeks ago, Omar, Lotus, and I attended the Mukurtu Site Building webinar to learn some of the background aspects of the current version of Mukurtu. The webinar was two hours, but it felt like it could have been a day long workshop. Kelley Shanahan led us on a tour of Mukurtu’s backstage, showing us secret passageways and hidden windows into it. We were intrigued. There is so much that can be done with it as it is, we are shivering with anticipation to get a look at the newer version coming out in the beginning of next year! For now, I’ll talk a little bit about what the current version is able to do.
One of the main aspects we focused in on was the ability to do a batch upload. This allows digital heritage items to be uploaded to the Mukurtu site as large groups, rather than adding each one individually. It is, in the long run, a great time saver. The basic process is to have a group of media items, such as pictures, with simply formatted file names, which are then uploaded onto the site. If you are starting from scratch, you might upload also your chosen categories, cultural protocols, and communities as a second step. However, if you have these in place on your site, you can move on to step three, which is to produce a CSV (Comma Separated Values). This is a spreadsheet, produced on Google Docs, that is filled out with information regarding the media that has been uploaded, information (metadata) such as, title, creator, contributors, cultural narrative, etc. Once this is filled out as completely as possible, it can be uploaded and the process is complete. The media and the information from the CSV connect to create digital heritage items on your site.
We attempted to work out this process after the webinar for a couple of hours, but we were having some issues with getting the media to connect to the CSV. After two hours, we had to stop due to other commitments, but Omar was able to get it to work later that day when he realized that the spreadsheet had to be made on Google docs and not on Excel. It is amazing how one small detail can halt the process! That is technology, though. It is great when you have all of the pieces in place and everything connects! A big thanks to Omar for sticking to it and figuring it out!