Show'n'tell'n'bake-off

Two weeks ago our interactive installations for the Magnificent Maps Exhibition were unveiled at the British Library. It was a project that Cogapp felt particularly proud of and thoroughly enjoyed working on. To mark the occasion, it seemed only right that our Cake Thursday was dedicated to a show’n’tell of the Magnificent Maps Project. What made this event even more momentous wasn't just that it fell on the day of the general election but also the fact it was the final of the great Cogapp bake-off, a highly anticipated event that would determine Cogapp’s most superior treat maker and a title earning both respect and a little resentfulness in the Cogapp studio. 

The show’n’tell session began with everyone picking up a fork and helping themselves to a slice (or wedge!) of the finalists' cakes. For all baking enthusiasts out there, this included an Apple Crumble Cake, Double Citrus Double Cheese Cake, Triple Marshmallow Triple Cherry Buns and a platter of Chocolate Brownies.

Everyone then gathered together to listen to Joe's presentation on Cogapp's work for the Magnificent Maps exhibition and how they responded to the brief. Joe explained how the British Library had a vast collection of impressive wall maps, most of which were large so displaying them vertically meant that the viewer would be unable to see the intricate detail. He explained how the team came up with the idea of projecting the maps onto tabletops and then using digital magnifying glasses to enlarge areas of the maps into greater detail- a novel and inventive solution. 

Joe described how the magnifying glasses worked, using a combination of infrared detection and customised cameras to zoom in on the maps, allowing the viewer to see intricate details. Joe went on to demonstrate how the magnifying glasses triggered 'hotspots' on the maps, which when touched brought up sections of information about points of interest. Hearing how the infrared technology worked was fascinating for a particularly non-technical Business Development Co-ordinator like myself, as the interactives had a transparent interface so none of the technology behind them could be sensed by the viewer. The interactives were simple to operate which meant visitors were able to use them intuitively, and they did not distract from the content of the maps in any way. I also liked the fact the interactives were multi-user so many visitors could use them at one time, making it a shared experience. Joe concluded his show'n'tell with how successful he felt this project had been and even gave us some exciting news on where it may lead to next!

Rounding up Joe's presentation, and in a true “election day style”, we had a paper voting system to determine the cake champion. Usually our bake-off’s are marked using a bespoke website created by Tristan, but this week we felt paper voting was an appropriate theme for the day. The cakes were marked on a scale of 1-5 and popped into a ballot box to be counted by Claire, (official bake-off co-ordinator) oh, and not to keep you in suspense much longer, the winner was declared our Head of New Technology, Joe Baskerville with his delectable chocolate brownies, a very worthy winner who wins a meal for two at the Seven Dials restaurant in Brighton.

So, the first ever Cogapp bake-off drew to a close and after the cakes were cleared and leftovers consumed, we went back to our desks slightly heavier but enlightened with the knowledge that Cogapp employees make fantastic cakes, and even better interactives. That just leaves me until September to prepare my own entry for Cogapp's 2nd bake-off!