Mitchell Whitelaw

Mitchell Whitelaw

Cultural visualiser

Digital preservation of visual cultural assets in new ways makes Mitchell Whitelaw’s work very interesting.

Why you should listen to him

Museums, archives and libraries have spent the past decade digitising their collections. The result is a rich mountain of cultural data – a digital treasure trove – but when it comes to accessing these collections, we are stuck at search.

Search is like looking at a vast landscape through a powerful telescope: great if you know what you are looking for.

How can we see the “big picture” – understand the scope and structure of these cultural datasets? In projects such as The Visible Archive and commonsExplorer, Mitchell Whitelaw makes visualisations that deliver rich interfaces to cultural datasets, with a focus on exploration and context-building beyond the tight focus of search.


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