Creating Virtual Exhibitions for Educational and Cultural Development
Dumitrescu, Gabriela, Lepadatu, Cornel, Ciurea, Cristian, Informatica Economica
The paper presents different tools and mechanisms to implement a virtual exhibition in different cultural areas, such as museums and libraries. Quality characteristics of virtual exhibitions are identified and described. The possibility to create native mobile applications for virtual exhibitions presentation is analyzed. The functional flow of creating a virtual exhibition is presented and discussed. The Seals - History Treasure exhibition is presented and significant historical documents are revealed.
Keywords: Virtual, Digital, Exhibition, Mobile, Cultural, Educational
1 Introduction - Digital versus Virtual
It must be realized a difference between the digital and virtual concepts. If we talk about digital libraries, then we have in attention electronic libraries, meaning collections of books, journals, thesis, and so on, which are stored in electronic format. If we consider the concept of virtual library, then we have in attention a collection of links that does not reflect physical books, journals, thesis, and so on.
In  is described the crossover between virtual and physical interactions in smart virtual exhibitions. This approach seems particularly attractive, because it put the focus on the physical heritage and, at the same time, digital capabilities specifically created to fit the personalized user vision and experience.
In  is presented the theory of virtualization in rapport to exhibition, especially the relation between spatial practice and digital mediation. There are presented concrete examples of virtual exhibitions, which put the theory into practice, by combining exhibition design with digital objects, from multimedia content to virtual objects, using a curatorial narrative in order to offer experience and immersion to visitors.
It must be appreciated the Google involvement in the cultural heritage area, by mentioning the Google Art Project  and The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls . Google Art Project is a collaborative project between Google and a lot of art partners from across the world, such as museums, libraries, galleries, and different cultural institutes. The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls is another project where Google contribution was extraordinary, because users can examine and explore the most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible .
2 Quality characteristics of Virtual Exhibitions
The Digital Exhibitions Working Group  defined the digital exhibition as an ensemble of interlinks that has the objective to disseminate digital multimedia content, in order to deliver innovative presentations of a concept, and allowing in a great measure the user interaction.
A virtual exhibition has the following quality characteristics:
- localization, meaning to put the user/visitor in the context and making him familiar with the cultural elements presented;
- relevance, in order to attract many visitors to access it and to be attracted about it;
- interaction, meaning to give users the possibility to interact with the application rendering the virtual exhibition, for example to make zoom on a picture or to select something in order to get a detailed description;
- maintainability, meaning the possibility to being updated every time when new elements appears and must be added to the gallery or when the creators want to enrich the descriptions or correct them;
- accessibility, meaning to reach audiences that the physical exhibition never could attend.
A virtual exhibition has many of key purposes:
- to engage the members of the group in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry;
- to provide an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives of a theme;
- to inform colleagues and staffof the purpose and general guidelines for the exhibition;
- collaborate with others to establish participation (for example, mentors, academics)
- schedule a time frame for the inquiry process, including a date for the staging of the exhibition, and book any facilities required;
- establish the resources needed, such as internet connection, audio-visual equipment, technology materials and consider budgetary limitations if necessary. …