Open Sourcing Digital Labels

At the end of November 2012, the V&A’s new Furniture Gallery opened up on our 6th floor. Alongside the great pieces on display, there are some novel approaches to interpretation and labelling.

One such development was the replacement of printed labels with touch screen software, developed by the V&A Digital Media team. Today, we are releasing this software as open source on GitHub (where else?) under a permissive BSD License.

Our Digital Labels software is a Django app, which delivers the following features:

  • optimisation for 1024×768 touchscreens
  • hammer.js implementation for swipe
  • robust interface intended for heavy public use
  • designed for iPad with Home Screen installation
  • automatic thumbnailing and resizing of large images
  • static HTML build scripts for deployment—no need for a web server or Django installation in-gallery.
  • half-decent documentation and installation instructions
  • versioning of labels
  • fancy administration interface

It’s designed to work with the V&A’s API but you can build your own objects from scratch using the admin.

Here’s a few screens of getting the application up and running on the iPad home screen:

DULL DISCLAIMER: This software comes with no warranty or support, although we will endeavour to engage with users wherever possible.

We provide installation instructions and user documentation.

We are indebted to other fine open source projects, which are required to get the our app working.

Finally, and most importantly, I credit the work of my colleagues Luca Carini, Santino Puleio, Eric Bates and Andrew Lewis, who helped make this project a success.

2 thoughts on “Open Sourcing Digital Labels


It’s always gratifying to see people make working stuff using the same tech you do. I love Django, though haven’t used Grappelli for a long while as I found there were issues with certain types of admin fields, but I imagine it’s come a long way since I stopped in 2010-ish.

django-reversion is a great tool, and I use sorl-thumbnail in almost every project, and get frustrated when I have to work on other projects where you can’t just hammer an image into any size you want it!

Looking forward to having a play with this. Nice work Rich! | @iamsteadman

Test DPC:

This is really awesome! Thanks for the update, Rich.

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