Hackathon: Bringing Maritime Navigation Instruments to Life

Seaman’s Gear: a two-day hackathon on October 8 and 9, 2022, aims to breathe new virtual life into historical maritime navigation instruments. The organizers are MAPEX, the German Maritime Museum – Leibniz Institute for Maritime History, and the Bremen University of Applied Sciences.

As part of the research project “Digital Materialities – Virtual and Analogue Forms of Exhibition,” the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes at the University of Bremen is investigating exciting objects in the Maritime Museum with the help of micro-computed tomography. The images of these objects will now be made accessible to a small group of interested participants of the upcoming hackathon. From the micro-CT images of the chronometer, barometer, and pocket sextant taken by the MAPEX center, digital surface models are generated in advance, which are then to be animated by the participants using open-source software and made interactively operable as part of the hackathon.

Insights into the Exciting Digitization Process

In a relaxed setting, participants will not only learn interesting facts about the centuries-old objects, but also gain an insight into the exciting digitization process. The aim of the hackathon is to show how the historical devices function in a virtually appealing way. Innovative programming will also show how these fascinating objects and the characteristic materials they are made of can be conveyed in digital exhibitions and in digital applications at physical exhibitions. The aim is to make the museum objects sealed behind glass more alive and tangible for visitors in the future.

Participation and meals during the two-day workshop are free of charge. Students from the surrounding area of Bremen are invited as well as all those who are familiar with Unity or Blender.

The project is funded by the “Evidence Regime” research hub of the “Value of the Past” research network. Lab 1.2 Materiality – Mediality deals with the topic of “Digital Materiality” and the question of digital copies of real objects and the insights gained from them. One focus here is the integration of real exhibits and their digital copies into exhibitions – especially in the Leibniz Research Museums, which also include the German Maritime Museum – Leibniz Institute for Maritime History.

Further Information:


Pia Götz
MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-64575
Email: piagoetzprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Rendered historical devices from shipping will play a role at the hackathon on October 8 and 9.