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Europeana: Twin It!

Who are they?

Europeana is a non-profit initiative funded by the European Commission that contains digital cultural heritage assets voluntarily contributed by over 3500 different institutions. This data is aggregated, curated, and made accessible as a shared resource beloved by educators, researchers, storytellers, and heritage-lovers on a global scale.

This data is aggregated, curated, and made accessible as a shared resource beloved of educators, storytellers, and heritage-lovers on a global scale.

The Europeana Twin It! Initiative challenged the Ministries of Culture of the European Union Member States to partner with their national cultural institutions to submit at least one 3D digitised heritage asset to a common platform.

According to the website, the “goal of the campaign is to collect and showcase emblematic and high-quality samples of Europe’s cultural assets in 3D, while supporting Member States in their 3D digitisation and preservation efforts.”

Header image: Petäjävesi Old Church, Finland
Pictured right: records on Europeana’s Twin It! map 

"If you need a no-nonsense but feature-rich map builder that allows you to tell stories using geography and cultural heritage, Humap is the best platform to use hands down."
Jolan Wuyts Collections Editor

What was the challenge?

Europeana wanted the 3D exhibit to have an element of spatial storytelling, the better to emphasise the collaborative nature of the project between so many different countries. 

The map needed to user friendly for the Europeana team and their audience, with no coding or downloads needed. 

Pictured: Ċittadella, Gozo, Malta

"Humap is perfect for cultural heritage projects, so it just seemed like a perfect fit with Europeana!"
Jolan Wuyts Collections Editor

What was the result?

Twin it! Launched to the public in June 2024, with 31 records contributed for free by member states of the European Union.

From the Petäjävesi Old Church in Finland to the Castle of Paphos in Cyprus, you can now discover Europe’s cultural treasures in 3D like never before.

From the comfort of your home, explore 3D digitised artefacts from EU Member States. Join us in celebrating Europe’s rich history and see how technology is bringing it closer to you!

Pictured: The Old Synagogue in Wiesbaden, Germany 

"We've seen how our digital exhibition has become much more fun and engaging for our users by including the embedded Humap experience."
Jolan Wuyts Collections Editor

Why Humap? 

We had all the tools they needed to build an amazing map, most notably a seamless integration with Sketchfab, the primo platform for hosting 3D objects.

The Europeana team didn’t have the time to learn how to use traditional mapping software, which has a steeper learning curve and would require a Sketchfab integration to be built. Humap can also be embedded in other websites, so Twin It! would be able to sit on Europeana’s website with the other exhibition material.

Read about more cultural heritage projects on Humap.

Pictured: Tartu Old Observatory, Estonia

“We were looking for a product that allowed us to easily import large amounts of objects with rich options for metadata entry. We needed a website that could show 3D models in a usable viewer, so people could pan around and zoom in on objects without having to click to an external website. Humap is perfect for cultural heritage projects, so it just seemed like a perfect fit with Europeana!

Our friends at Humap set up our domain for us and provided us with an admin environment. From then on, everything went really smoothly. The backend interface is very intuitive, and if we didn’t understand anything there were extensive documentation pages that could answer any questions we had. Entering records and exploring the possibilities of routes and views was a breeze.

We’ve seen how our digital exhibition has become much more fun and engaging for our users by including the embedded Humap experience. People love to pan around and find out which objects come from their country or are located close to where they live. The embedded Humap experience has elevated our storytelling with these cultural heritage objects, to the point where we’d love to involve our partners and community members in building maps on Humap with us in the future.

If you need a no-nonsense but feature-rich map builder that allows you to tell stories using geography and cultural heritage, Humap is the best platform to use hands down. It’s so easy to upload any type of cultural heritage object: old manuscripts, scans of paintings, pieces of text, 3D models, sound files or audiovisual content, and Humap can deal with all of them seamlessly.

The main problems that other platforms didn’t solve for us but Humap did were the option of viewing 3D models directly in the experience, easily embedding the map on whatever webpage we wanted, and accommodating our extensive metadata fields. Because member states submitted their objects to Europeana at different times, some of them very close to the deadline, we needed a product that we could easily add new records to without the need for coding, geomapping, or other complex work.”

– Jolan Wuyts, Collections Editor

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