LoCloud Collections: Advanced Features

Apart from main features described in the basic documentation, Omeka administrator’s panel has also some useful, more advanced options which are described below.

1. CSV import

Another supplementary feature located in the left bookmark bar of admin’s panel is ‘CSV import’. It gives a possibility to upload an external CSV file in order to put a list of items into your particular collection at once. You can edit the settings and check the status of your imports.An exemplary process of the CSV file import is presented below.Firstly, you have to prepare a CSV file.

Along with the Omeka.net: ‘The best option is usually to use spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel to create and organize your data. However, if you’re creating or editing your data by hand, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You will need to normalize your data before importing. Check to be sure that the first row of your CSV file contains column names, and that every row has the same number of columns.
  • Check to see if any of the text contains commas, and if it does surround that segment with double-quotes. Many spreadsheet programs will do this for you automatically. If you are using a spreadsheet program, check the CSV that is exported by opening it in a plain text editor to see if the double-quotes are being added automatically.
  • You can specify a unique delimiter for columns, files, tags, and elements. Once you do, be sure to be consistent in formatting.
  • Remember, every row represents one item, and all items in the file must be the same item type (music, documents, pictures etc.)
  • Look over the Dublin Core and Item Type metadata to be sure you can easily map the fields in your CSV file to the Omeka installation. Make any modifications in fields or types as necessary.
  • It is possible to import files housed in a digital repository by adding the URL to that specific file in a column representing a file. You may import more than one file per item, by comma separating the urls within a cell. You must use a permanent link for this step.’


Illustration 4. Data in spreadsheet software.

Afterwards you have to import a prepared file to your Omeka admin panel. To import, go to the CSV Import tab in the left navigation bar in the admin Dashboard (Illustration 5.) Next steps along to Omeka.net are:

  • Select a CSV file from your computer and select the appropriate import settings. You may choose an item type for each of your items to be designated, and you may place your items in a collection using the pull-down menus.
  • At this time you may also make your items public or featured if you wish.
  • You must tell the plugin how to deal with your data. If your CSV file does not use a comma to separate your columns, indicate which character you did use. Note: You may not use a tab or an empty space.
  • The plugin assumes you have used commas to separate tags within individual cells in your CSV file. If you have used a different character, you must indicate that in the Choose Tag Delimiter field. Note: You may not use a tab or an empty space.
  • The plugin also assumes that you have used commas to separate multiple URLs within a cell (if you are importing items from an outside repository, for example). If you have used a different character, indicate that in the Choose File Delimiter field. Note: You may not use a tab or an empty space.
  • The plugin assumes that each metadata field has only one element in it. If any of your metadata fields has more than one element (if your item has more than one creator, for example), please tell the plugin what character you used to separate the elements. If you have more than one element in a a field but leave this blank, the plugin will treat the entire text block as one element. Note: You may not use a tab or an empty space.


Illustration 5. CSV file import.

After selecting the file and configuring item settings, click the Next button what leads you to screen depicted on the Illustration 6. On this screen, you can see a table which includes the Dublin Core fields in Omeka, the text from your CSV file that is designated for each field, and a pull-down menu to allow you to map your columns to the appropriate field. Make sure you select an element for each of the fields that is populated.


Illustration 6. Map columns to elements, tags or files. 

Finally, click the ‘Import CSV File’ button and check it’s progress if you want by using the ‘Status’ tab (Illustration 7.) If the status is ‘Completed’ your files are imported to the Omeka items list.


Illustration 7. Status of the CSV import.

2. Exhibits

Apart from adding items and collections you can also create exhibitions that will combine many items from different collections just the way you want. Exhibitions can have another layout than the standard one present in your collection.


Illustration 8. Browsing through exhibitions.

While adding a new exhibition, you should name it, add a ‘slug’ - a part of the name that will be visible in the url, then you may describe ‘credits’ of the exhibition if you want to define some authorship input. There is also a possibility to write a few words to describe the exhibition to the viewers. Finally you choose the theme, not necessarily the same as in your whole collections system, as it was said before.


Illustration 9. Adding a new exhibition’s metadata.

After entering metadata of whole exhibition (Illustration 9), you can add different pages with items to it. Each page can have it’s own metadata and composition (as you can see in Illustration 10). There are 12 layout options that differ from each other in the size and amount of pictures/thumbnails and the size of a place for the page description.


llustration 10. Adding page metadata and layout.

After choosing layout you can fill the page with the content. Apart from adding description, you can attach files to different items from your collection to this page (Illustration 11). There are two options after choosing ‘Attach an item’ option: you can either choose to ‘View all items


Illustration 11. View all items in items attachment form.

or you can choose to ‘Show Search Form’ in which you can specify certain keywords, collection, type, range of ID or field what may help you find the item.


Illustration 12. Search form for attaching items to the exhibition. 

The amount of items you can add depends on the layout you chose. Then you can ‘Save changes’; ‘Save and Add Another Page’ and ‘View Public Page’.


Illustration 13. Attaching items to the exhibition’s page.

Once you’ve added all indicated pages to the exhibition and mark it as a public one, it is possible to browse through it from Omeka user’s interface level (Illustration 14). Moreover, each picture in exhibition is an automatic link to the full item existing in the digital collection. 


Illustration 14. View public page in Omeka user’s interface.

3. Users

The last more advanced option which is useful for collection's system administrator is placed in the top bar of the panel. In ‘Users’ you can add new users and edit or search for the already existing ones (available filters: ‘usernames’, ‘real names’, ‘e-mail addresses’. The first thing visible in this bookmark is a list of created users of this collection with their username, real name, e-mail address and role.


Illustration 15. Browse users.

Above search button, there is a similar green one ‘Add a User’ which allows to increase the amount of users. After clicking it you can see a screen from the Illustration 16. Filling all fields is required to add a new user. Those are:

  • Username which must contain only letters and numbers, and be at most 30 characters long.
  • Display name which is a name which will be displayed on the site.
  • An Email address of the new user.
  • User’s Role (4 types available: Super, Admin, Researcher and Contributor) with a link to documentation defining powers and tasks of each kind of role. 
    • Super - can access all available pages.
    • Admin - can access all pages except those under the "Setting" tab.
    • Contributor - can add items and edit items they have created. They may create exhibits using any item in the archive and have permission to see any public exhibit from the administrative side.
    • Researcher - can see all Items, Collections, and Item Types pages public or private, but cannot edit anything including Items, Collections, Item Types, or Exhibits. 


Illustration 16. Add new user of the collection.

If you decide to edit an already existing user enlisted on the page ‘Browse users’ (Illustration 15.) there is a special option ‘edit’ located below each username. Except the possibility to edit such fields as ‘Username’, ‘Display name’ and ‘Email’ (confirmation with the ‘Save changes’ green button below), you can also change user’s password (enter the new one, repeat it and click ‘Save password’ green button below in order to finish this action).


Illustration 17. Edit selected user.

4. Item types

Item Types option in administration panel, allows Omeka administrators to manage predeclared types of items which are available at adding new items process in section Item Type Metadata. Here it is possible to modify an existing Type name, edit this Type and description or add new one. Adding an item Type allows user to create new Item type name and its description. Elements which belongs to this item can be chosen from existing list of elements or created as a new one. 


Illustration 19. Browse Item types. 


Illustration 20. Add Item Type.

Illustration 21. Edit Item Type.

5. Edition of more than one item at once

When browsing Items, Omeka administrator can modify many items at once by checking the box next to the title and choosing Edit or Delete option.


Illustration 22. Modify more items at once.

On the next screen it is possible to modify Public status, Featured status, Item Type, Collection and add a Tag to chosen items.


Illustration 23. Batch Edit Items.

6. Embedded items

In the left side bar there is a bookmark ‘Embedded items’ and it is a list of items that have ever been embedded to other websites by using the embed code available on item’s page in Omeka user’s interface.


Illustration 1. Embed code in the item’s preview in Omeka user’s interface.

In ‘Embed Statistics’ you can see the list of embedded items from your collection along with the link to the page, dates and amount of views. There is also a possibility to view all embeds for the certain item.


Illustration 2. Embed statistics in admin’s panel.


Illustration 3. An example of an item from the digital collection embedded in another website.

7. Plugins

By clicking on the 'Plugins' link in the top menu of the Omeka admin panel you will get a list of plugins installed in LoCloud Collections. Below you will find a list of selected plugins which have interesting configuration options available from that page.

7.1. Collection Tree

Gives administrators the ability to create a hierarchical tree of their collections. It is also possible to order the collection tree alphabetically.

7.2. Exhibit Builder

Allows to build rich exhibits using Omeka. It is also possible to change the way of sorting exhibits - the default method by which you wish to sort the listing of exhibits/browse page. The default value is ‘Date Added’ and can be changed to ‘Alphabetical’ or ‘Recent’.  


Illustration 24. Configuration of the exhibit builder.

7.3. Geolocation

Adds location info and maps to Omeka. You can change:

  • Number of locations displayed per page when browsing the map.
  • Default latitude and longitude of the map's initial center point, in degrees.
  • Default zoom level - an integer greater than or equal to 0, where 0 represents the most zoomed out scale.
  • The type of map to display (roadmap, satellite, hybrid, terrain).
  • The width of the map displayed on your items/show page. If left blank, the default width of 100% will be used.
  • The height of the map displayed on your items/show page. If left blank, the default height of 300px will be used.
  • The usage of metric distances in proximity search.
  • The addition of a link to the items map on all the items or browse pages.
  • The addition of the map to the contribution form - if the Contribution plugin is installed and activated, Geolocation will add a geolocation map field to the contribution form to associate a location to a contributed item.


Illustration 25. Configuration of the Geolocation plugin.

7.4. Hide Elements

It is possible to hide admin-specified metadata Dublin Core and Item Type elements and override visibility restrictions by user’s role.


Illustration 26. Configuration of the hide elements plugin.

7.5. Search By Metadata

Allows administrators to configure Dublin Core and Item Type metadata fields to link to items with same field value. You can check the metadata fields that you want to make search links. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary with the Simple Vocab plugin on the fields that will be made into make links.


Illustration 27. Configuration of the search by metadata plugin.

8. Other settings

8.1. Search settings 

Omeka administrator can customize which types of records will be searchable and shown in search option available after clicking a plus in search field. Index Records button allows to re-index searchable records.


Illustration 21. Search settings.

8.2. API configuration

As you have probably noticed, there is one another option available in editing a user - API (application programming interface) Keys. Firstly we need to get to know API configuration which is located in Settings menu bar (upper menu of admin’s panel). Here you have ‘Configure API’ screen (Illustration 18.). It is possible to: ‘Enable API’ by checking the box, change the amount of ‘Results per page’. After enabling API, applications may be able to show, browse and delete your site resources. All of those actions require key authentication and each key corresponds to and has all permissions of an existing Omeka user. As it was mentioned above, the option of key creation is available on each user’s edit page (Illustration 17.)  


Illustration 18. API configuration.