Google Arts & Culture Digitizes Artifacts Following Brazil Museum Fire

“Earlier this year, 20 million irreplaceable artifacts housed by Brazil’s National Museumwere lost in a fire. As the museum did not have a platform for viewing most of these works digitally, many people feared that their memory would be lost forever. However, thanks to a two-year-old project spearheaded by Google, a lucky selection of these priceless pieces will live a second life online.

 

In 2016, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with the Museu Nacional in an effort to digitize its collections. Using Street View imagery, the initial goal of this undertaking was “to bring their collection online—so that anyone, anywhere in the world could see and learn about these ancient artifacts.” Since the fire, however, this project has served a much greater purpose.

With a couple clicks of a mouse, users are transported to the museum as it once stood. Featuring high-resolution photographs that offer 360-degree views of both the artifacts and the galleries they once inhabited, this invaluable project lets users wander through the lost museum and wade through some of its destroyed objects. Ancient sculptures, scientific specimens, and Luzia, the oldest fossilized human remains found in the Americas, are just some of the pieces immortalized in this virtual treasure trove….”

Google Virtual Tour Preserves Collections Destroyed in Brazil Museum Fire | Smart News | Smithsonian

“In early September, a fire roared through the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, destroying up to 90 percent of its precious collections. The extent of the damages was “incalculable,” Brazil President Michel Temer stated on Twitter at the time. “Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge have been lost.”

 

While it is true that little can be done to restore so many of the museum’s irreplaceable specimens and artifacts, a recently launched Google Arts & Culture project hopes to see the institution live on in the digital realm. As Kelly Richman-Abodou reports for My Modern Met, Street View imagery has made it possible to take a virtual tour of the museum as it stood before tragedy struck.

In what would prove to be a fortuitous collaboration, Google started working with the National Museum of Brazil in 2016 to digitize the museum’s collections and capture its interior through “high-resolution photography, photogrammetry, 3D laser scanning, and virtual and augmented reality,” writes Chance Coughenour, program manager of Google Arts & Culture, in a blog post. Google has embarked on similar projects with many other museums and heritage sites, but its partnership with the National Museum of Brazil has become particularly important in the wake of the fire….”

Open access research | Revista Pesquisa Fapesp

“Brazil stands out on the international landscape when it comes to open access, a movement launched in the early 2000s with the aim of making scientific output freely available online. According to data compiled by Spanish research group Scimago, 33.5% of the Brazilian articles indexed in the Scopus database in 2016 were published in journals whose content is free to read online as soon as it is published, under a model known as the “golden road.” This is the largest proportion among the 15 nations with the highest volume of scientific output recorded on Scopus. Brazil is also top of the list of nations with the highest number of open access scientific journals (see charts).”

Brazilians launch “Libre”, a new microfinancing technology for journalism | Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

“Brazil has seen dozens of independent journalism initiatives emerge in recent years, many of them launched with the proposal of innovating in terms of content and the ways it’s presented. One challenge facing most of these initiatives concerns financial sustainability: how to generate the income needed to improve journalistic quality, keeping content accessible to as many people as possible?

Libre, a new microfinancing technology for digital journalism, aims to help Brazilian outlets solve this impasse. The tool uses a mechanism similar to likes and shares in social networks, but proposes the transformation of these manifestations of appreciation for content into financial support for outlets and journalists….”

Brazil Adopts Open Licensing in National Textbook Program – SPARC

Brazil’s Programa Nacional do Livro Didático (PNLD) is one of the largest national textbook programs in the world. Each year, the program procures curricula for a set of primary or secondary school subjects, including textbooks and digital supplemental resources for teachers. In 2017, PNLD spent R $1.3 billion (approximately US $400 million) to purchase more than 150 million textbooks for nearly 30 million students. 

In Italy, only 46% of the research is “open”

“What happens when science becomes open? And what drives researchers to publicize scientific articles where they have the result of their work? It is from these two questions that has taken the International survey of scientific authors (Issa), a project devoted to the OECD by Brunella Boselli and Fernando Galindo-Rueda. 

A research involving over 6,000 researchers who responded to a questionnaire sent by email at the end of 2014. With the goal of measuring the spread of openness, it is the choice to freely publish research results. And the result is that between 50 and 55% of publications are available in open format within three or four years of publication. A choice, that of open access, widespread in emerging economies.

In Indonesia it is over 90%, in Thailand 80, in Turkey 70%. And even though it is limited to the more mature economies, South Korea is the 66%, followed by Brazil with 64 and Russia with 61. In Italy, however, only 46% of the research is published in open format….”

India leads in Gold Open Access Publishing – fake or genuine? – News Service

“It is interesting to note that since the introduction of new criteria for DOAJ listing in March 2014, we have received the highest number of new applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, followed by those in Indonesia, USA, Brazil and Iran. From around 1600 new applications received from India since March 2014 only 4% were accepted, with 78% of the applications rejected for various reasons and approximately 18% still in process….”

Bioline International Official Site (site up-dated regularly)

“Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. By providing a platform for the distribution of peer-reviewed journals (currently from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela), BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community world-wide….”