上海科技馆信息技术应用考察报告（英文） / 斯特凡·马特恩
Abstract The author of this essay spends more than two months working with his Chinese colleagues in Shanghai science & technology museum. in this essay, the author introduced what he sees and knows about the application of digitized management systems and makes significant assessment as well as comparison of the similar management systems in shanghai science & technology museum and technoseum in mannheim which he comes from. he also mentiond the difference between the duties and characteristics of the relevant staff members in charge of the digitized management systems in the two museums. Keywords information technology, centralized media management system, Shanghai Science & Technology MUSEUM, TECHNOSEUM
From May to July, 2017, I visited Shanghai Science & Technology Museum in the course of a mutual collaboration agreement between the two museums. During my stay, I was appointed to the depart
“ment of information. In Chinese, the word informa
” tion means not only the technical side, but also includes the transfer of information to the public. Differing from the classification at TECHNOSEUM in Mannheim, this includes not only the team which is responsible for the information technology like computer systems but also the team which is engaged in publishing the information to the public.
On the very next0 day, I was introduced to the whole team of the department. The leader, Ms. Wu, gave me a short introduction about her tasks. Besides Ms. Wu as the executive deputy director of the information centre, there are four members of the It-team, who are responsible for the day-to-day business. Similar to TECHNOSEUM, they get support from external companies which implement new hardware like servers, storage arrays and network components. The vivid exchange of information during presentations or visits at the server-room can be summarized quite simply: both institutions are using similar technologies like virtualization of servers or applying software from Microsoft (servers and clients). The big challenge is the on-going reconstruction of the technology which was deployed in the last years of the 20th century-not considering the needs of a centralized It-facility with a close meshed network all over the two buildings. Many efforts are necessary to modernize the network infrastructure by extending optical fibre to get high-speed connections. The access to the internet will be improved by the end of this year so that two lines for the staff and the public will be able to pass 100 MB
each. This capacity will also be available for the branch of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai Natural History Museum. The Wi-fi access for the public is a must nowadays so Shanghai Science & Technology Museum is planning a network like that in the natural history museum which was reopened in the year of 2015. This Wi-fi network incorporates more than 200 Access-points with up-to-date IEEE 802.11ac technology (at TECHNOSEUM we have 25 Access-points of those).
One of the most inspiring presentation during my stay was given by a company which has designed a centralized media management system for Shanghai Natural History Museum-one of its best I have ever seen. This authorized external enterprise developed the system within six months, linking five persons to a remote access to all important media components. Fortunately the architects of the new building (Perkins and Will) were using a modern software which gives the authorized company a solid starting basis for their work; they used the floor plans as a user interface to identify and access the equipment
’ like PC s, monitors and projectors. Every component has a singular Ip-address and can be reached by LAN, wireless, RS232 or EIB. The remote access enables the administrator or authorized members to set power on and off, change content or control behaviour for maintenance or repair. A complete technical documentation about all elements is stored in the database and can be found by location (floor plan) or full-text search. Every access to the components will be registrated (person, time). A plan for maintenance can be incorporated, a timetable for power on or off the devices as well. This solution merges the two or three tools we are using at TECHNOSEUM: database (user interface: floor plan or
’ full-text search), team-viewer to access the PC s and some EIB implementation for the power-control. The management system of Shanghai Natural History Museum may show us our goal: merging different tools into one powerful solution.
In the year of 2016, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum had 6 316 000 visitors (including Shanghai Natural History Museum) and was listed as TOP 7 of the world. Before you can visit Shanghai Science & Technology Museum you have to pay an entrance fee. This huge number of visitors have to get their tickets and have to be controlled within different zones in the museum. So it is not a surprise that one person of the It-team is responsible for this task. The ticketing-system-software is an in-house development and forms the backbone of more than a dozen ticket-counters at both entries. At the beginning of my stay, the visitors had to buy the tickets at one of these counters. They could use bank cards, credit cards, the Alipay app on their smart phones or cash. They received a ticket with a Qr-code and could pass the entrance control system automatically like at any entrance of the metro. A secondary control system can restrict the access to some areas of the museum by scanning the palm of a hand. During my stay, the staff managed to make it possible for visitors to buy tickets online. The first step is the option to get the tickets by approaching the website of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. This procedure is based on the Chinese Id-card, which has a Rfid-chip inside. Ordering the tickets with the number of the Id-card by using the Web-shop interface is an easy and quick way to pass the entrance system of the museum as the scanner can recognize the Id-number of the ticket-holder and opens the gate. If you want to order more than one ticket, you have to put in the corresponding Id-number for every purchase to pass the entrance. The second way to buy a ticket online depends on the messenger app, Wechat. This is a very popular smart phone application with more than 9 000 000 users in the first quarter of 2017 and have a built-in function for payment if it is connected with a bank account. Later I will give more details about this messenger app but now I will
focus on the online payment. Within the menu of this app, you can choose a button for buying tickets online, just like for buying tickets of flights, railways and cinemas. Shanghai Science & Technology Museum was added to this list and after adding your number of the Id-card you can pay for the ticket. The next step to enter the museum is similar to the method of buying tickets by using the web-shop.
Since its opening in the year of 2015, Shanghai Natural History Museum has also offered the option to buy tickets online. After paying, you receive a dedicated number to your phone but you have to use a ticketing machine at the entrance of the museum to print your ticket by entering the number. The new system developed by Shanghai Science &0 Technology Museum will be easier and cheaper to run, so it will substitute this system by the end of this year after the optimizing process is finished.
As mentioned before, the information centre also undertakes the task to transfer the information about the museum to the public. As the technologies which were used to manage this process have changed in recent years from printing to online publishing, the persons who were responsible for this work now are involved to update the website. I should not forget to note that prints are still available and handled by a librarian, but the library can only be used by the staff, which is different from TECHNOSUM. Four members of the information centre are responsible for different topics of Online Publishing. At a first glance, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum seems to use more employees than TECHNOSEUM, at which only one staff member is responsible for the work. However, that impression changed after I heard the explanation of the duties of these members. The extent of the information published at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum website excels that of TECHNOSEUM a bunch of times, which involves more activities, more events (including four cinemas) and more temporary exhibi- tions. Only two members of the team are in charge of publishing the information on the Chinese and English websites. A third member of the team gives the information to journalists, reports press-surveys to the leaders and publishes the information about the mu seum to the staff. The channel she is using for this task is an official account of Wechat, which can broadcast current news to the staff. Besides the staff, everyone who is interested in the information can follow bookmarking the channel. Another channel is also used to inform only the public, but this work is handled by another department. Apart from making it possible for visitors to buy tickets with Wechat, Shanghai Natural History Museum offers a free audio-guide to the visitors by using the app. The It-team of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum is evaluating a combination of bluetooth (to localize the position of a visitor who is using his or her smart phone) and transferring information about the exhibits through Wi-fi to the smart phones of the visitors.
The fourth member of the team in charge of Online-publishing has more overlapping tasks. Being responsible for the project management of the Chinese and English websites, she has to communicate the requirements of the leaders to the authorized agency and to ensure that the timetable and costs are met. I had the chance to follow the development of solutions for both websites including intensive discussions about design and functions and how to reach the goal of the leaders to show the visitors at the homepage that Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai Natural History Museum and the new Shanghai Planetarium are only different branches of one organization. I appreciate the clear and well-structured pages of the new websites and I noted with pleasure that the website of TECHNOSEUM has given them some inspiration to find solutions to the relaunch of the English website. In the future, a cooperation between the online platform Shanghai
Daily and Shanghai Science & Technology Museum will allow a multilingual version of the international website.
As the leader of the information centre, Ms. Wu has to manage and control all the listed duties and has to represent Shanghai Science & Technology Museum at official events, indeed a time-consuming and tough challenge. Her department plays a major role in the process of structure reform of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. At least three branches of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum should be merged into one in the public awareness, different technical infrastructures of different ages (2000, 2015 and 2020) should work together and decisions have to be made about software and technical solutions to help Shanghai Science & Technology Museum exist in a meshing digital world.
In the last chapter of my report I would like to contribute my assessment about the use of databases in a museum. About 30 years ago, some museums started to get rid of index cards or inventory books by using a computer and a database system for storing the information about their collections. This first step focused on an internal view: helping to achieve a more comfortable and variously usable access to the items of the collection. As a benefit, the storage of the objects was easier to manage. So more and more museums are using this digital approach and soon the question how to link the different databases in a second step has occurred. Following European libraries, some museums with similar collections collaborate to share their digitized objects. In the year of 2005, the idea was born to share the European cultural and scientific heritage by establishing a common platform. In 2008, the first beta-version went online, offering access to more than 4 million objects. Nowadays you can find more than 53 million artworks, artifacts, books, videos and audios from across Europe.
Also the governments of both Germany and the states are supporting this effort in funding projects to digitize the collections of the museums and help to share their results with the public. The first step was to open the collections by using their own websites, but soon different platforms were established to have access to different collections from different locations. But to avoid fragmentation and join forces, German government decided to support a project which should serve as a springboard for the European countries, "Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek". This institution should help the museums to publish their digital collections in European countries by supporting "European Data Model".
TECHNOSEUM started using its first database in the year of 1986. The current system FAUST was introduced in 1993 and the online publishing of data about our collections started in 2008. Today we can present more than 9 300 objects of our collections to the visitors of our website. Our collection department is preparing 16 000 objects for publishing at Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek and in European countries by the end of this year.
Information technology is developing very fast and is used for almost every task within a company or a museum. Database systems help to manage different working fields: research and collection management, media management, facility management, ticketing and accounting management and guide management.
Since 1993, TECHNOSEUM had been using Faust for the management of its collections. Later we also developed a separate module for planning and managing our temporary exhibitions. Our department for education had been managing the activities and museum tours with the help of a database system for more than 10 years. We changed this system a few years ago and now our ticketing system is a part of this solution. The financial department is also using the software to issue invoices besides their main appliance SAP to control cash flows.
In Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, the media management system of Shanghai Natural History Museum was the first database system and implemented in 2015. The ticketing software of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum was the next step, followed by the new database system for the collection management of Shanghai Natural History Museum. 10 000 objects (mostly the collections of fishes) are already accessible. The system includes different modules, helping to localize the items at the storage, as well as at the exhibition and other places. Not only objects of scientific interest are stored in the database, but also data of models or reproductions are entered. Step by step, the complete collections of Shanghai Natural History Museum will be digitally stored in the database system and published for educational use enriched by all types of media.
As far as the two collection management systems of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum and TECHNOSEUM are concerned, they differ technically but they cover the needs of the staff. With the assistance of Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek 16 000 objects will find their way to the European Publishing Platform. In the future, the collection management system of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum should contribute to the Chinese node of GBIF to support the idea of sharing data about Biodiversity for free.
Both database systems are addressing the need of assistance for planning an exhibition by providing tools for collecting data of loaned objects or special collections for an exhibition. But this approach focuses on a list of objects at a storage or at the exhibition-you have no view at the objects like within the media management system: Here you can access the items by a floor plan to locate (and manage) them. This kind of presentation fits better than only lists (the system should also provide those reporting lists for managing different tasks) to reproduce the environment of the exhibits.
In the near future, there should be a solution to the combination of the strength of the media management system by using a floor plan for media systems, objects, artifacts, models or reproductions (the complete structure of the exhibition) with the flexibility of a powerful collection management system.
The perspective for international collaboration to share the digitized cultural and scientific heritage is bright as more and more countries and institutions contribute to the system of Linked Open Data. Multilingual Thesauri will assist to break language barriers so that more and more people can work together to build a connected world. （ 2017-07-20 收稿； 2017-08-01 修回）