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Two calls for Expressions of Interest: Rural Tourism & Disruptive Innovation

posted Jun 11, 2012, 9:49 AM by

  1. Rural Tourism Innovation Projects "Providing information services to tourists exploring rural areas; Supporting the diaspora to visit/learn more about Scottish ancestry; ‘Gamifying’ the connections between people, places and historical records." Closing date for EoIs: 6 July
  2. £40k Disruptive Innovation Challenge "Finding a way to harness ideas from computing science and informatics research and digital technologies, to create disruptive new tourism products or services." Closing date for EoIs: 27 July
Some project ideas might fit under either call. To decide which is best we suggest:

a) If your idea is relevant to rural tourism, but doesn't particularly promise "disruption", submit to Call 1.
b) If your idea is both disruptive and relevant to the rural, submit to Call 1.
c) If your idea is disruptive but doesn't have much to do with rural tourism per se , submit to Call 2.
d) If your idea is neither disruptive nor rural, don't panic - there will be another call for full proposals, later in the year.

For more information on the topics and information on how to submit, please click here.

Friends Reunited relaunches site with 'nostalgia' focus

posted Mar 28, 2012, 6:32 AM by Thea de Joode

The online publishing group, Brightsolid, has relaunched their early social networking pioneer Friends Reunited site. The UK-based network, which began in 2000, now invites users to sign up for its new "memories"-based service.

For more information please see the news story on the BBC website by clicking here.

Register now for Smart Tourism & RCUK dot.rural workshop 'Rural Needs in Scotland'

posted Mar 8, 2012, 2:10 AM by Thea de Joode

This SICSA Smart Tourism and the RCUK dot.rural workshop brings together tourism organisations, industry and universities for a one-day event on Friday 16th March, to be held at the new University Library, University of Aberdeen. The day will focus on two themes:

- Existing projects in dot.rural and beyond which explore how the digital economy can support rural activities and tourism, with topics ranging from transport, through cultural heritage to small business support.

- The afternoon which will consider genealogy and ancestral tourism, understanding the needs of visitors, venues and supporting organisations with a visit and guided tour to St Machars Cathedral churchyard by chief archivist Walter Duncan

To register, please click here.

Schedule for the day

Venue: The University Library, Room 706, Bedford Road, Aberdeen · AB24 3AA

10.00 - 10.30 - Coffee and registration
10.30 - 10.45 - Opening
10.45 - 11.15 - Supporting Accessibility and Mobility for Rural SmartTourism - David Corsar, Research Fellow Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub
11.15 - 11.45 - Using Open Linked Data to support Multiple-use cultural archives - Nava Tintarev, Research Fellow (CURIOS), Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub
11.45 - 12.15 - Placebooks: Rural Participation, People and Place - Alan Chamberlain, Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Mark Davies, FiT La, Swansea University
12.15 - 13.15 - Lunch
13.15 - 13.45 - Connecting Rural Enterprise for SmartTourism - David Emele, Research Fellow (ASSURE) Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub
13.45 - 14.15 - Genealogy Presentation 5 (Brightsolid TBC)
14.15 - 15.15 - Visit and guided tour to St Machars in breakout groups
15.15 - 15.30 - Break
15.30 - 16.30 - Summary and report back

Presentation Abstracts

1. Supporting Accessibility and Mobility for Rural SmartTourism - David Corsar, Research Fellow Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub.

This presentation will provide an overview of two dot.rural projects focused on improving accessibility and mobility in rural areas. The Flexible Integrated Transport Services (FITS) project is developing a prototype platform that explores the feasibility of a virtual transport market place to more efficiently match existing demand and supply for transport services in rural areas. The software is to be trialled with communities in the Aberdeenshire/Moray area. The Informed Rural Passenger (IRP) project centre as both consumers and suppliers of information. The presentation is developing a transport information ecosystem with passengers at its will discuss GetThere, a mobile passenger information system developed as part of IRP, which is to be trialled with communities in the Scottish Borders area. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how these projects could be applied to supporting SmartTourism in rural areas.

2. Using Open Linked Data to support Multiple-use cultural archives - Nava Tintarev, Research Fellow (CURIOS), Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub.

Small and geographically distributed communities often have difficulty preserving their distinct culture and identity in the modern world. Projects to collect and preserve knowledge of their background, possibly using digital means, are one way to reinforce the coherence of such communities and can also generate important data to feed academic research and applications, such as tourism. The CURIOS project is investigating how to use open linked data technology to help people easily to produce useful and accessible digital archives. In the talk we will discuss the previous work of our collaborators in the Western Isles and how open linked data could transform the shape and usefulness of such systems.

3. Placebooks: Rural Participation, People and Place - Alan Chamberlain, Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Mark Davies, FiT La, Swansea University.

New developments in mobile, location and sensor-based or Œubiquitous¹ computing now make it possible for users to move beyond the urban fringes. They herald the expansion of computing from cities into rural locations that have long been marginalised due to the limitations of existing technology. Current digital mapping services largely focus on urban environments with many systems offering rich street views of urban settings, but such views of rural space are largely absent. Placebooks is a Œtoolkit that allows people to create and share community-based maps that reflect their interests and concerns. For example, users are able to sketch routes of their favourite pathways through the countryside. GPS data and community content, relevant to different points on their route, can then augment these routes. Tags and content can also be added to other users routes, adding to the overall body of knowledge.

4. Connecting Rural Enterprise for SmartTourism - David Emele, Research Fellow (ASSURE) Computing Science/dot.rural DE Hub

This presentation will provide an overview of the Agent and Semantic Support for Rural Enterprise (ASSURE) project, which is focused on exploring how business networking and agent support can help rural businesses to identify useful connections and potential collaborations. ASSURE is a multidisciplinary research project involving computer scientists and social scientists, which aims to develop a user-driven prototype platform to provide online business networking support for businesses in rural areas. The presentation will discuss RCS, an online business networking system developed as part of ASSURE, which is being trialled with user groups identified by Scottish Enterprise. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how this project could be applied to support SmartTourism in rural areas.

5 ways museums are reaching digital audiences

posted Aug 12, 2011, 2:01 PM by Thea de Joode   [ updated Aug 12, 2011, 2:03 PM ]

An interesting article on the top 5 ways that museums are reaching digital audiences can be found here

Find us on Facebook

posted Jul 22, 2011, 4:43 AM by Thea de Joode

Smart Tourism has a new profile on Facebook and we would be delighted if you would take the time to click on this link and 'like' our new page! Comments and interaction via our facebook wall is very welcome, simply click here to get started.

Culture Hack Scotland, May 2011

posted Jul 21, 2011, 6:37 AM by Thea de Joode   [ updated Jul 21, 2011, 6:40 AM ]

50 developers & designers. 50 arts professionals. 20 datasets. 24 hours. 30 amazing projects. #chs11 took place on May 6/7 and was presented by the Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab.

Organised by the Edinburgh Festivals, it was a first-of-a-kind event which connected data from the festivals and leading Scottish cultural organisations with software developers and creative technologists to see what amazing new things might happen.

By all measures of success, it was an outstanding event and was one of the strongest ever demonstrations of the value of open data in the arts.

We are currently listening to feedback and considering what might happen next.  To be part of that conversation please do contact

For more information about Culture Hack Scotland, click here.

SICSA Summer School: Multimodal Systems for Digital Tourism

posted Jul 1, 2011, 12:39 PM by Alan Settery   [ updated Jul 1, 2011, 12:41 PM ]

St Andrews, Scotland, June 27th - July 1, 2011


The focus of this summer school is to introduce a new generation of researchers to the latest research advances in multimodal systems, in the context of applications, services and technologies for tourists (Digital Tourism). Where mobile and desktop applications can rely on eyes down interaction, the tourist aims to keep their eyes up and focussed on the painting, statue, mountain, ski run, castle, loch or other sight before them. In this school we focus on multimodal input and output interfaces, data fusion techniques and hybrid architectures, vision, speech and conversational interfaces, haptic interaction, mobile, tangible and virtual/augmented multimodal UIs, tools and system infrastructure issues for designing interfaces and their evaluation.


We have structured this summer school as a blend of theory and practice.

Mornings are devoted to seminars from our international speakers followed by guided group work sessions or focussed time for project development. We are proving a dedicated lab with development machines for the duration of the school along with access to a MERL Diamondtouch, a Microsoft Surface (v1.0), a range of mobile devices, arduinos, phidget kits, pico-projectors, Kinects and hapticdisplays. As we expect participants from a range of backgrounds to attend we will form groups who will, through a guided process, propose a demonstrator they can realise during the summer school which they will demonstrate and showcase on the final day.


In addition, Ben Arent a leading interaction designer based in Dublin has agreed to host (subject to sufficient interest) a day long Arduino workshop

for interested participants on Sunday June 26th.  


Seminar Topics

- Multimodal Interaction for Digital Tourism

- Multimodal Interaction with the Android platform

- Creating Engaging Visitor Experiences in Museums and Heritage sites

- Multimodal Interaction with spatial data

- Speech-driven, hands-free, eyes-free navigation

- Haptic Tabletop Interaction for Digital Tourism

- Natural language generation for Multimodal Interaction

- Mobility as a challenge for interaction design, Tourism as a special case

- Multimodal Augmented-Reality Interaction for Digital Tourism

- Designing context aware-systems



- Stephen Brewster, University of Glasgow

- Tristan Henderson, University of St Andrews

- Eva Hornecker, University of Strathclyde

- Antonio Krüger, Saarland University

- William Mackaness, University of Edinburgh

- Miguel Nacenta, University of Calgary

- Jon Oberlander, University of Edinburgh

- Antti Oulasvirta, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology

- Aaron Quigley, University of St Andrews

- Albrecht Schmidt, University of Stuttgart


The deadline for applications to attend is May 3rd, with notifications by May 9th. Participation is limited to 30 and we expect a mix of both national and international participants. The registration fee is £450, which covers four nights of accommodation (Mon - Fri) in St Andrews, breakfast, lunch, dinner and summer school materials. Also included is a welcome reception and farewell dinner. An optional Arduino workshop (with Sunday night accommodation) is an additional £70.


The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) is providing 16 grants to cover the £450 registration fee for PhD students from most Scottish Universities.


See the summer school website for a full programme, biographies of speakers and full details for applications:


The school is directed by Aaron Quigley (University of St Andrews), Eva Hornecker (University of Strathclyde), Jon Oberlander (University of Edinburgh) and Stephen Brewster (University of Glasgow).

SICSA launches Smart Tourism at SECC Technology Showcase

posted Jun 30, 2011, 5:13 AM by Alan Settery   [ updated Jul 15, 2011, 2:22 AM ]

Two of SICSA's new initiatives, Smart Tourism and 'Services to the Cloud' Cloud Computing were shown at the Glasgow SECC Technology Showcase event.
The event provided an exciting day of interaction with industry, businesses and other Scottish university research pools 

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