Myths, Folklore, and the Digital Humanities

For my final project I decided to create a way of cataloging and looking at myths through the use of Google Glass and Structure Sensor. Myths are an important part of culture and I believe if they could be made digital then we could learn about them more easily, whether they be our own culture’s or another’s.

The Idea

My idea for this project was that using the following tools we would be able to look at myths that were either native or very similar to our own, or we could be able to look at myths that were total opposite to our own based on location. Essentially I want to create an augmented reality through the use of Google Glass. To do a rough demonstration of this I went to a church in the center of Amherst, which was to represent Western mythology/creation stories, and compared it with the Eastern counterpart, Chinese dragon mythology.

Ideally I would also like there to be a database of some sort where myths, symbols, and folklore relating to cultures could be uploaded by the people that knew the most about them (a format somewhat like Wikipedia) and there would be information and images accessible to everyone. Additionally this database would also have geographical information as to where the myths originate from. Through the use of Google Glass and Structure Sensor this could be made possible. Ideally both would be used to upload information to the database and then all of the information could be viewed through Glass. However, because of my limitations, I clearly wasn’t able to achieve a lot of this, but what I was able to achieve is the theoretical design through the use of investigating one mythological symbol in a Western space.

The Tools

Google Glass:

Google Glass has the capabilities to film video. For this project I used Google Glass to film what it would look like approaching the entryway of the church in the center of Amherst. This video is supposed to show what a person might experience when looking through Glass while approaching any location. Below the videos is a rough “sketch” so to speak that shows what a person who wore Google Glass might be able to see once they reached a location that was saved in the database and saw a myth in front of them.

Final Still.png

Google Glass would be fundamental for creating the augmented reality. Additionally the map/GPS function of Glass would be fundamental for showing myths based on location.

Structure Sensor:

Along with using Google Glass, I used the Structure Sensor to scan in the church’s entryway to show a 3D version of a space that a myth could be found in or relate to. Again this information would be ideally uploaded to the database and perhaps then it could be saved for later access. The below two links are to Sketchfab.com which was used to save an uploaded version of the 3D models. Both have parts missing and unfortunately because the church was so large, the whole building wouldn’t scan, which is why I chose to scan in just the entryway. There were some difficulties when scanning though because the space between the pillars and the walls were open so that there are parts missing there. Additionally, because this doorway was not a closed space, part of it could not be scanned because it looked out to the open road.

Structure Sensor 1

Structure Sensor 2

Final Thoughts

Clearly right now I wouldn’t be able to set this up. Additionally, because of Google Glass’s current discontinuation, people wouldn’t be able to use them to see  these myths, even if the database was set up. I think that not only would having this all in place be able to help people learn about other cultures and their own cultures’ myths and folklores, but it would also make for a really interesting way to travel. People who had Glass and access to the database would be able to add an element of looking at culture of wherever they traveled to. Lastly, there are clearly many parts still needed  in order to make any of this a reality. We would need Glass to still be produced, we would need a database with the capabilities to store and share all of the necessary information. We would also need people to upload there knowledge. So right now unfortunately it doesn’t look like this will be happening anytime soon, but hopefully someday.

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