Touch Art Gallery

The Museum’s Curatorial and Digital Initiatives Departments will be utilizing Brown University’s Touch Art Gallery (TAG) software to digitally bring to life some of the content within the Museum’s exhibitions.

Brown University’s TAG User Guide

Touch Art Gallery, or TAG, created by Brown University in partnership with Microsoft Research, is a Windows 8/8.1 application that allows museums, libraries, and educators to display collections of 2D artworks and manuscripts too large or too fragile to display physically or otherwise inaccessible. It allows visitors to explore high-resolution images using Microsoft’s Deep Zoom technology.

In the Collections Page, visitors can view digital collections that have been created in TAG.

When a collection is selected, the user can see a short description to the left, beneath the timeline (if there is a timeline included in the collection). Each artwork and interactive tour in the collection is displayed as a clickable tile. These tiles can be sorted by using the Sort Options next to the Search box. Feel free to search for any term related to the artwork metadata such as title and artist, or by any terms which may be found in artwork descriptions.

Tapping on an artwork thumbnail will bring up a previewer with a description and thumbnails of its associated media. Tap it again and the user will be brought into the Artwork Viewer, an immersive experience for viewing the artwork at its highest resolution or, if the selected thumbnail is of a video or tour, will open our fullscreen Video Player or Tour Player. Tap one of the associated media images and you’ll be brought to the Artwork Viewer and that piece of media will open automatically for your perusal.

By using familiar touch gestures to zoom in and pan, the user can examine an artwork closely.

The minimap in the lower left menu acts as a visual guide to the current zoom and pan location and can be manipulated to change the position of the current on-screen field of view. The user can see more information about the artwork by looking at the items in the left pane. Tapping the “Description” tab will display an author-provided description of the artwork. Tapping the “Related Maps” tab will open an annotated Bing map containing pins at each location associated with the artwork. If the author has uploaded any custom maps -such as historical ones- these will also be included.

The list of “Associated Media” below these tabs contains related media that the author has decided to associate with this artwork. These could be images, audio clips, or videos. Some may be hotspots, anchored to a specific region of the artwork; opening a hotspot will take the user to that region, while others will simply appear onscreen. All of these associated media can be manipulated as easily as the artwork when on-screen. The user can get rid of any of these media by flicking them off the screen in any direction.

If a visitor wants to view the artwork without an obstructing menu, they can tap on the arrow button to minimize it, and then tap it again to bring it back into view. To compare two different artworks, or to collaborate with another user on a large touchscreen display, the visitor can initiate Split Screen mode. The button to activate this mode is in the lower right corner of the screen.

Thanks you to the Brown University TAG team: Professor Andries van Dam, Jessica Fu, Dan Zhang, Valeria Federici.

Last modified: October 12, 2017