Glossary | Digital Museums Canada

Glossary

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360° video
A video in which a view in every direction is captured simultaneously, generally recorded using an omnidirectional camera.

A

Accessibility
The practice of making content, projects, devices and environments barrier-free to a wide range of users regardless of their abilities. (see Web accessibility)
Advisory Committee
A committee of museum and heritage experts from across Canada who review quick pitches and evaluate proposals for the Medium and Large investment streams.
Agreement
A document, signed by the lead organization and the Canadian Museum of History who administers the DMC investment program, that sets out an online project’s requirements and responsibilities.
Alternative text (Alt text)
Text that conveys information about an image to website users who are not able to view the image.
Amendment
An agreed-upon adjustment to the agreement, signed by DMC and the lead organization.
Analytics
Data generated through online traffic and used to measure the performance of a website.
Applicant
The organization that submits an application to DMC. (see Lead organization)
Augmented reality (AR)
An enhanced version of reality created by adding computer-generated interactive objects, texts or interfaces within the user’s field of view. Because AR superimposes a layer of information onto the real world surrounding the user, it is considered a context- or location-specific digital technology. AR experiences are not eligible for DMC investment.
Authoring tool
A custom-built WordPress template for projects funded through the Small investment stream. Uploaded content is organized in the tool to create a bilingual and accessible virtual exhibit.
Award letter
A letter that informs an applicant that their project has been selected for investment.

B

Budget
A detailed account of the costs related to a project. Budget templates are provided for Small, Medium and Large investments.

C

Call for proposals
The period annually during which applicants can submit a proposal for an online project for DMC investment. The quick pitch step for the Medium and Large investment streams happens at the beginning of the call for proposals.
Carousel or slideshow
A rotating collection of images which the user can scroll through. Unlike an image gallery, a carousel or slideshow is considered an interactive element of an online project.
Community
A group of people who share something such as an interest, history, geographic location, culture or identity. For example, the ice fishing community, the Syrian community, the community of St. Martins or the LGBTQ community.
Community group
An organized, self-governing, not-for-profit, voluntary group that works for the public benefit. Examples are recreational clubs, arts groups, and youth clubs like cadets, scouts and guides. (see Community organization)
Community organization
An entity with a governing structure made up of multiple people, such as an institution or association, whose purpose is to improve the lives of individuals, groups and neighbourhoods. Examples are seniors’ centres, recreation centres, residents’ associations, societies and sports clubs. (see Community group)
Community Stories
The product of DMC’s Small investment stream. Successful applicants receive $15,000 and access to an authoring tool to create a virtual exhibit on an aspect of community life, past or present.
Comparative edit
The process of checking texts in two or more languages against each other, in order to make sure they convey the same information.
Content
The material making up an online project. Examples of content include text, images, archival documents, audio, video, interactive elements and social media. For an online project, content can already exist or it can be created.

D

Deliverable
A defined piece of work that must be submitted and approved before funds can be released and the project can advance.
Digital capacity
The ability of an individual or organization to work with digital tools and technologies.
Digital Museums Canada (DMC)
A federally-funded investment program, administered by the Canadian Museum of History, that invests in online projects by Canadian museums and heritage organizations, helping them build digital capacity and share stories and experiences with people everywhere.
Digital technologies
Computer-based products and solutions that help people communicate, learn, work and share data.
Digital tools
The use of computer-based products and solutions to create, digitize and publish digital content. This can include graphic, video and audio tools as well as web publishing platforms for media and online content.
Discoverability
The potential for a website to attract the attention of its intended target audience(s), through the use of such elements as metadata, search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords.

E

Educational resource
A tool used to support formal or informal learning about a subject. Examples of educational resources include curated and interpreted online collections, and curriculum-based materials and activities.
Eligibility
Conditions organizations must satisfy for their projects to be evaluated and selected for DMC investment. Eligibility conditions differ from the Small investment stream to the Medium and the Large and are listed in the guidelines.
Embedded audio
Audio that plays within the webpage and that conveys relevant content, without accompanying visuals like video.
Embedded video
Video that plays within the webpage and that conveys relevant content, either with or without accompanying audio.
Evaluation
A way of determining the degree to which something is meeting a defined set of standards or outcomes. Proposals are evaluated during the call for proposals process, and online projects are evaluated during and after their development. (see Formative evaluation)

F

Formative evaluation
A way to verify during development whether or not an online project is achieving the outcomes identified for its target audience(s). There may be multiple rounds of testing and fine-tuning, with the aim of optimizing the final version.

G

Guidelines
Information that applicants need to know when they apply for DMC investment.

H

Heritage organization
An organization whose activities, programs and services promote access to and encourage participation in heritage preservation.
High-resolution image (High-res image)
Visual content that conveys a large amount of detail generally at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) or higher. High-resolution images can be zoomed in on without loss of visual detail.
Hosting
The action of storing and maintaining an online project on a web server, in order to make it available to the public via the internet.

I

In-kind
Goods or services that are contributed to a project at no charge or at reduced cost. The value of in-kind contributions is included in the budget.
Interactive map
A cartographical image that presents geographic information such as locations, events and timelines, which users can explore in an interactive manner.
Interactive or interactive experience
A service or product, hosted on a computer-based system, that involves the user in an exchange of information and responds to the user’s actions by presenting content such as text, animation, video, audio, etc. An interactive experience includes active participation, not simply reading and watching.
Investment
Funding from DMC used to create an online project. DMC offers three investment streams: Small, Medium and Large.

K

Keyword
A word used to organize and describe a website or other online resource, or make it easier to find a website or other online resource using a search engine.
Kick-off
The first meeting between key members of the team working on an online project and the program officer assigned to it.

L

Large investment
An investment from DMC ranging in value from $150,000 to $250,000.
Launch
The moment when an online project goes live and becomes available to the public.
Lead organization
The museum or heritage organization responsible for an online project. The lead organization signs the letter of agreement with the Canadian Museum of History who administers the DMC investment program.

M

Mandatory criteria
The conditions that a proposal must satisfy before it can be evaluated.
Medium investment
An investment from DMC ranging in value from $50,000 to $150,000.
Metadata
A set of words or other information used to describe the content of a website or other online resource. Examples of metadata include the website’s name, a brief description of its content, as well as file size, author and date created.
Museum
A non-profit, permanent institution, serving and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. (Reference: ICOM, 2007) DMC uses the term museum to include the following: aquarium, archive, art gallery, botanical garden, cultural centre, equivalent Indigenous Peoples’ organization, exhibition centre, historic house, historical society, library, museum planetarium, preservation project or site, professional cultural association or group, zoo, or other organization that fits the definition of museum.

N

Not-for-profit
An organization that does not operate for the purpose of making a profit.

O

Official language
In Canada, the official languages are English and French.
Online game
Content in an online project that is aimed at encouraging user participation or reinforcing knowledge in a creative and interactive way.
Online project
A website that provides a complete online experience for users. The content at launch provides the full user experience; content is accessed through a web browser at any time from any location, without specialized equipment; the content is designed for a target audience or audiences. Examples of online projects include virtual exhibits, virtual tours, online games, web apps and educational resources. 
Organization
An organized body of people who share a specific purpose.
Outcome
The way in which a target audience benefits from an online project. For example, the outcome of an online project could be for the user to learn something new, develop a skill, or inspire a change in attitude or behaviour.

P

Parallax
A three-dimensional effect created when the position of an object on the screen changes depending on the viewer’s perspective.
Phase
The way that DMC-funded projects are broken down, to organize the work and make it manageable. Projects in the Small investment stream have three phases. Projects in the Medium and Large investment streams have five phases.
Program officer
A member of the DMC’s staff who guides and supports participants throughout their project.
Project team
The group of people who occupy the roles and execute the tasks required to deliver an online project. The project team can include members from the lead organization, other organizations and the community. When a proposal is accepted for investment, DMC will ask the lead organization to appoint potential replacements to fill key positions, in case any of these people become unavailable to work on the project.
Promotion
The act of publicising an online project among its target audience(s), so the project is known to the largest number of potential users possible.
Proposal
The set of documents prepared by the lead organization and submitted to DMC as part of a call for proposals. The proposal is made up of four documents: proposal form, schedule, budget and any support letter(s).

Q

Quality assurance review (QA)
A review carried out by DMC staff at different phases of a project, in order to confirm that the project is being developed as outlined in the agreement, as well as following best practices. The review includes the content, user experience and technical aspects of an online project.
Quick pitch
A process that provides feedback from the DMC Advisory Committee on a project idea, to help applicants prepare their proposal. The quick pitch is available for projects in the Medium and Large investment streams and is strongly recommended.

R

Rated criteria
The criteria used by the DMC Advisory Committee to evaluate a proposal and assign it a score.
Research
The process of gathering information in order to learn about a subject. Research is a key part of an online project, and may be original or come from other sources. Research typically involves the target audience(s), the content and the user experience of the online project.

S

Schedule
The tasks, durations and dates that lay out how an online project is produced. Projects in the Small investment stream have three phases. Projects in the Medium and Large investment streams have five phases. At each phase of the project, DMC conducts a quality assurance review. Following each review, the project team has two to four weeks to make the changes that are required before they can proceed to the next phase.
Screen reader
Software that helps people with impaired vision use a computer by means of a voice that reads the text displayed on the screen.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The practice of optimizing and increasing both the quality and the quantity of traffic to a website through organic search engine results. The quality of traffic refers to attracting users who are looking for your content. Organic search means that you didn’t pay to advertise your content.
Slideshow or carousel
A rotating collection of images which the user can scroll through. Unlike an image gallery, a slideshow or carousel is considered an interactive element of an online project.
Small investment
An investment from DMC of $15,000, used to create a Community Stories virtual exhibit in the template provided.
Subject
The overall topic of an online project, including the main message or “big idea” that the project aims to convey.  
Support letter
A letter from an individual or organization involved in an online project. A support letter should confirm the type and (if applicable) the value of the support, as well as align with the project description, schedule and (for financial or in-kind contributions) budget.

T

Target audience
The group of people that an online project aims to attract and engage. Information that a project team should have on their target audience(s) includes their level knowledge of the subject and their online behaviours.  
Technical requirements
A description of technical requirements and other features used as a basis for designing and developing an online project.
Technical review
A review done by a DMC technical specialist at different phases of a project, to make sure that the online project is developing as planned and agreed upon, and that it is in keeping with technical best practices requirements.
Technology
The hardware and software that is used to develop and deliver the content of an online project. Examples of technologies include 360-degree video, virtual reality, programming languages and databases.

U

User
The person who uses an online project.
User experience (UX)
The analytical and technical aspects of an online project that enhance a user’s satisfaction when they engage with it. This includes ease of use and how pleasant the experience is overall. A good UX includes a layout and navigation that apply accessibility, consistency, visual clarity, readability and findability best practices. Enhancements can include experiences such as the ability to zoom in on high resolution images, to view multimedia content or to go on an immersive visit.
User generated content (UGC)
Information collected or created by the user as they explore an online project.
User interface (UI)
A means by which a user interacts with an online project. It includes all the visual and interactive elements to offer the most intuitive experience for the user. Examples of UI elements include buttons, typography, colours and responsive design for all devices.

V

Virtual exhibit
An exhibit designed for an online audience and employing digital tools and technologies to enhance the user experience.
Virtual reality (VR)
Technology that offers an interactive and three-dimensional simulation of reality, using images and sound, to provide the sensation of being immersed in a real environment.
Virtual tour
A tour designed for an online audience and employing digital tools and technologies to enhance the user experience.
VPAT
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) can help identify any accessibility shortcomings in an online project early in the project’s life. The VPAT is completed by the technical expert(s) on the project team. It serves to identify unique elements of accessibility, from moderate to advanced complexity. For each element, different criteria, challenges and solutions are described.

W

WCAG 2.1
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The four principles of WCAG are perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
Web accessibility
The practice of making Web content barrier-free to a wide range of users regardless of their abilities or the devices they use to access it. Accessibility on the Web can be attained by following guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Online projects created with DMC investment must adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) principles. (see Accessibility)
Web-based application (Web app)
An application program that uses the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and that runs inside a web browser. A web app is stored on a remote server and doesn’t require a download or an installation to access.
Web-based game
A game designed for an online audience and employing digital tools and technologies to enhance the user’s experience.