Digital stories told using Cogapp’s Storiiies platform

London Subterranea, 2012. Copyright © Stephen Walter

Cogapp and Stephen Walter have worked together several times over the last decade. Our paths first crossed when Cogapp was commissioned by The British Library to create several interactive exhibits as part of the Magnificent Maps exhibition. Stephen’s awe-inspiring map of London, The Island, was being exhibited as part of the exhibition and we were lucky enough to meet.

We have kept in touch ever since and over the years we’ve collaborated on various projects and ideas. Our latest collaboration is a series of online stories that explore some of Stephen’s maps in close detail.

These were created using Storiiies

A national photography project with The National Portrait Gallery

Cogapp have been the National Portrait Gallery’s website partner for more than two decades. Today we are proud to be supporting the launch of ‘Hold Still’, a national photography project to capture the nation’s mood during these unprecedented times.

Nurse Aimée Goold shared this picture of herself after a long shift © Aimée Goold

Announced this morning in the press and on national television by the Duchess of Cambridge, the project will be open to contributions until 18th June 2020. The Duchess of Cambridge said:

We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country.”

Hold Still…

A short explanation for people who aren’t interested in words like metadata

A Definition

IIIF is a means of presenting images and related information on the web. It enables the use of a whole range of tools to explore sets of images. These sets of images can be drawn from multiple organisations.

I find it difficult to explain IIIF without technobabble. Hopefully the definition above will demystify IIIF at least a little.

Example Benefits

🕵️‍♀️ — you are a researcher — you can explore a book in an online viewer where the pages of the book are actually scattered around the world in various…

Creating digital stories with our new digital storytelling editor.

This post is a quick run-down of a hack-day I am very happy I was able to be a part of. It was a collaboration between The British Library’s Qatar Project and Cogapp.


There were two outcomes from the day.

  • Our digital story — ‘A Book’s 700 Year Journey
  • A first iteration of an editing interface so you can create your own digital stories online. Once we tidy it up we’ll release it for you to use.

UPDATE: you can now create your own stories using the editor. For more…

Immerse yourself in the incredible detail of the world’s art

TL;DR download the slow looking chrome extension and go to one of the sample institution websites for a contemplative slow looking experience.

Slow looking?

We are constantly presented with new and shiny ways to experience art and cultural artefacts. Cogapp is always on the look-out for technological innovation, it’s what we do, but we’re also conscious that it’s the ‘content’ that makes these experiences special. With this in mind we have been exploring the slow looking movement for some years now and have spoken and written about it more than once.

We created our free-to-use slow looking platform a while back. The…

A #Coghack project

Our regular hackdays are as much about experimenting with new technologies as anything else. Augmented reality has been on the list of things we’d like to play with for a long time and seeing as we like to learn by doing we thought an intro to AR as a hackday project would be a worthwhile endeavour.

We’ve had experience developing lots of iOS apps over the years so taking Apple’s ARKit out for a spin seemed like the obvious choice; now we just needed a killer application through which we could explore the basics of AR.

We thought long and…

A voice-controlled, zoomable image interface built using the Web Speech API, OpenSeadragon, IIIF and HTML5 Canvas

Coghack is the name of our regular hack-day events at Cogapp; this time round I was working alongside Steve and Tristan.

Our mission was to recreate the Esper machine used by Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner. Esper allows Deckard to explore images in minute detail using only his voice. Check out this YouTube video to see the machine in action.

Esper machine mid-zoom.

The goal

As mentioned we wanted to recreate the experience of using the Esper machine to explore images. Why did we want to do this? Partly because it would be fun but also because voice control is becoming more and more…

Automatically extracting categories, people, places and more from a collection of antiquarian books

Every few months or so we invite people to join us in Brighton for a hack-day. For Coghack3 we were happy to welcome Martin Shatwell and Rachel Nimmo from the National Library of Scotland.

In this post I’ll be talking about how Martin, Ben Kyriakou, Adrian Hindle and I went to work on some term extraction for a set of antiquarian books that the library take care of.

The team in action (Adrian is frantically coding out of shot!)

The goal

Our aim was to see how we could apply a natural language processing service to a set of antiquarian books; not necessarily the type of data that these services were designed for…

A distributed, real-time transmission to mobile devices.


As a long-term member of the Brighton tech community Cogapp has taken part in the Brighton Digital Festival many times. This year we felt like doing something a little different.

We have worked in close partnership with digital artist and Cogapp alumni Grant Cieciura to create a digital artwork that will be exhibited each night throughout the first week of the festival. The work is called Do androids rAVe²?

The work is location-based; its controlled from our studio on the top floor of an eight-story building in central Brighton, New England House. This…

A jargon-free explanation for non-techies

I work in tech and I’m as guilty as the next nerd when it comes to using unintelligible terminology. In this post I’m going to explain the term Agile without using any Agile-specific terms. In particular, I’m going to cover what it actually is and why you might want to learn about it in relation to software development.

What is Agile?

Andy Cummins

Director of Product Development @cogapp in Brighton, UK

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