The Virtual Pompidou Centre, France

Increasing access to the Centre’s vast resources

The Pompidou Centre is home to the largest modern and contemporary art collection in Europe, encompassing visual art, design, architecture, photography and new media. Over 75,000 pieces of work constitute the museum's collections and exhibitions are renewed on a regular basis. The Pompidou Centre also encourages the public to attend conferences, meetings and debate cycles.

Under the initiative of its president, Alain Seban, the Pompidou Centre endeavored to improve its digital strategy via the creation of the "Virtual Pompidou Centre," a resolutely innovative Internet-based cultural content broadcasting platform. This resource center was made available online and replaced its old website in October 2012.

It is available for free on the Internet and already provides users with almost 100,000 digital resources: images, text, video or sound. Every user is able to access all media content produced by the Pompidou Centre (art reproductions, photographs, exhibition posters, interviews, musical recordings, archives, etc.).

The Pompidou Centre project promotes close collaboration and co-development. All the parties involved fully comply with the institution's ambitions and are flexible to adjust the project as it develops and as requirements change.

CGI provided a comprehensive service as part of this project, involving strategic advice, change implementation and management. Three actions were carried out simultaneously:

  • A "Solution" project: custom-made implementation of the technological platform, from its design to its commissioning and subsequent maintenance
  • A "Content" project: qualification of digital resources, their development and implementation of contribution channels. This project allowed for sustainable organization of the resource center's contribution channels, from a technical and human point of view
  • An "Assistance" project aiming to provide support during change implementation for various departments, and to help define a sustainable governing model for the Virtual Pompidou Centre.

Finally, CGI integrated the latest web evolutions to the platform.

Semantics constituted a major focus for discussion during the course of this project. Each resource was given an extensive description and was indexed; in other terms, its contents were given a standardized description according to a well-defined charter, allowing each user to fully grasp its meaning. This background work now allows users to change from one resource to the other via free and customized browsing. This innovative dimension has helped the Virtual Pompidou Centre benefit from the latest Internet revolution, data-based Internet, as well as from the development of Open Data (Linked Open Data). 

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