Monday, February 23, 2009
When you are preserving a copy, you are mostly concerned with protecting your financial investment represented in real costs as well as in effort. In terms of digital copies, there are several ways that your investment is at risk. Besides the normal liabilities of nature and god, there is digital corruption and mechanical failure. There is also the concern that the format or method of storing the file may become obsolete. In addition, there is the real concern that the standards, under which the file was created, may become obsolete or the quality of your files no longer meets the needs of the rapidly advancing technology. In other words, you may need to recreate them for a more sophisticated technology. This last risk is one many early adopters have already experienced. Actually, several visual resource professionals have observed this within their own careers, where photographs were replaced by lanternslide, which were replaced by film slides, which are now being replaced by digital copies.
Given that we do want to protect these copies as long as they are viable, what is the best method of protecting these digital copies? Two things are important, back up and documentation. Fortunately, digital copies can be duplicated without loss of quality. A copy can be stored on several types of media in several locations, hopefully one in a remote location. In fact, it is best to store a copy of your digital collection in another entirely different geographic location. That is where documentation comes in. You need to know not only where the copies are stored, but also the method and the technical metadata documenting the standards under which the files were created.
When most people are discussing preserving a born-digital file, it is in terms of an archive. This is an original artifact, which may someday have inherent value in its own right. Is that not so? As an archival object, it should be stored in a safe and protected environment. In the digital realm, this means inspection, migration and redundancy and is very costly. In addition, if the digital artifact is valued in its own right, such as a Web posting of the 2004 election, then you must also preserve the software and hardware required to read the file. Think of Thomas Edison’s cylinders. If your collection contained some, would you not want to hear what they heard then?
However, the question to me is a born-digital file of value because of it format or its content. Clearly, it would be a shame not to be able to hear an Edison cylinder, but are we poorer for not preserving all of them? If you accept that it is the content not the format or media that is to be preserved, you might even progress to questioning what media is the best way to preserve that content. In other words is digital media the best way to preserve content.
When we first began to make digital copies of collections, it was adamantly stated that it was for the purpose of ACCESS not preservation. If we stick with that argument now that we have digital originals, for other then protection of investment, should we preserve the originals in their digital format? Do we preserve something, just because it exists or find the best a format in which to preserve it? We could of course always keep a digital copy for access.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The speakers have been finalized for NISO's webinar on ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL), to be held on September 10, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (eastern time).
Alicia Wise, Chief Executive, Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and Chair of NISO's new ONIX-PL working group will begin the event by describing the need for ONIX-PL, the benefits it provides for various stakeholders, the ongoing maintenance she and the NISO working group will be doing with this standard, and will provide an overview of the work done to get the trial version to this stage.
Jeff Aipperspach, Senior Product Manager, Serials Solutions, and Rick Burke, Executive Director, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), will give their hands-on perspectives of the trial they are conducting with ONIX-PL, a project that should provide a model for future ONIX-PL implementations.
SCELC and Serials Solutions are partnering with a number of publishers to test the transmission of licensing data using the ONIX-PL messages. In this trial, publishers will deliver machine readable license information in a standardized way via XML. The ONIX-PL transmitted information will then be mapped into Serials Solution's ERM system, eliminating the tedious manual entry of license terms. The end result will be an improved user interface for easily accessing terms.
This webinar is for librarians, publishers, and content providers who are interested in how to express licenses in a machine-readable format, load them into electronic resource management systems, link them to digital resources, and communicate key usage terms to users.
*Information and Registration:*
Please visit the event website (http://www.niso.org/news/events/2008/webinars/onixpl/) for more information and to register. The fee is $59 for NISO and ALCTS members and $79 for non-members.
This is the third webinar in the series on Demystifying Standards. The slides and Q&A from the introductory webinar are available online (http://www.niso.org/news/events/2008/webinars/alcts08/) for those who wish to review them.
The second webinar, OpenURL: Link Resolution That Users Will Love (http://www.niso.org/news/events/2008/webinars/openurl/), will be held August 21, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (eastern time); registration is open until noon on August 21.
A webinar on SUSHI will be held October 2.
Note: This announcement was cross-posted.
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The European Library [TEL] is a service provided by the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). It offers free access to the combined resources of the national libraries of Europe. The service is aimed at everyone who wants a powerful and simple way of finding (digital) library materials.
TEL is the organizational driver for the European Digital Library. This European Commission initiative will encompass not only libraries but also museums, archives and other holders of cultural heritage content.
In other words - The European Library is a highly reliable educational tool and a unique source for information from across Europe. www.TheEuropeanLibrary.org
Having developed this great resource, they are now providing a mini version of its searchbox that website owners can easily install on their own site to search the TEL digital collection. This searchbox is now available to install for free. See: Mini Searchbox
This searchbox gives direct and centralized access to Europe's national libraries. This means you can offer your users:
- a quick check whether a national library has digitised a particular item
- a shortcut to reliable information and material (books, photos, maps,
images, films, etc.) from all over Europe.
To get results your visitors only need to enter a search term in the box like the one below. Check it out:
They also have a linking program. See: Links
Please send your request for inclusion to mailto:email@example.com
In the near future the services of The European Library will be expanded. You can Subscribe on their site to their newsletter to keep up to date.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
So if we accept the fragility of the actual artifact and fragility of the digital image of it, how do we preserve the visual information of the object? Jonas is suggesting… drum roll please…microfilm. But then, we know that does last forever either and also costs to maintain, but even so maybe the system that we have now is better for now?
Of course, there are still the digital born material and Jonas allows as how audio-video material may be cost effective…..
what is one to do? Any ideas?
For the past several Years the Library of Congress has been busily digitizing its collection. a prime example of this effort is its American Memory project. Now they have moved on to the whole world. It will be called, fittingly, World Digital Library, which it will do in conjunction with Unesco modeled on its Memory project. The World Digital Library started two years ago with a $3 million grant from Google and technical assistance by Apple. Initially, five other libraries contributed material for the prototype, including the national libraries of Egypt, Brazil and Russia.
They are now wooing the other national collections as well as corporations to join in signing an agreement with Unesco to continue their effort. Towards this end they have developed a prototype to show what will be possible. It is searchable in seven languages, with video commentaries from curators alongside material that includes original maps, manuscripts, photographs and recordings. their goal is for the material to be accessible from personal computers, hand-held devices and some of the rugged, inexpensive laptops that are being developed for emerging markets. Look for its public debut next year.
Now your new HP Pavilion HDX can process as if it was 1994
One digital preservation solution goal has always been emulation of the old hardware or programs. Now some clever guys in the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek - national library of the Netherlands and the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands to be exact, may have reached that goal. They have developed a software emulator that they are releasing to anyone. It is called Dioscuri version 0.2.0 and is now available “as open source software for any institution or individual that would like to experience their old digital documents again,” at http://dioscuri.sourceforge.net
Discouri can emulate an Intel 8086-based platform, including supporting the hardware to match, such as screen and storage devices - a floppy drive anyone? That means old files, if you still have the original software, which ran on 16-bit OS like MS-DOS, can now be read and the information retrieved. You just cut and paste through their clipboard to you current technology.
Its tricks includes creating a ‘virtual machine,” which is thus independent of the hardware on which you have loaded the software. The guys in the Netherlands have run it on Windows, Apple and Sun computers. The other sweet part is a component-based architecture. Each component imitates the functionality of a particular hardware component, thus you can make your own “virtual machine” through a user friendly GUI.
Thus you get a flexible and portable solution.
If you want to hear more, you may want to register for the Dioscuri news mailinglist:
At the Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) annual conference Aug. 5-9 in San Diego, some fellows from Carnegie Mellon demonstrated their “Photoswap” technique. Now a guy from Microsoft research Cambridge was also involved so this is not just an academic exercise. Just in case you are not familiar with the term “content recognition”, it is the goal of some information techies to remove images from the need to have text metadata to be discoverable. The idea was to develop algorithm, which would enable a computer to find a sunset or terrorist if you were working on specifically facial recognition. These guys at Carnegie saw a practical application, well sort of. They developed an algorithm to help people edit their home photos. I don’t mean removing redeye. I mean removing that telephone pole, car etc. I know some Architects, who would love this tool. The idea is that you delete (erase) the offending object. The tool then searches through an image archive and finds several images, which would fit in the “hole” you have made in your photo. You can then plop it in. They call this “Scene Completion. ” Graduate student James Hays at Carnegie Mellon, developed it. Where do they find such an archive you ask? Why on the net. “It draws on millions of photos from Flickr to fill in holes in photos resulting from damage to a photograph or an editor’s cuts.” See Carnegie Mellon press release for the full story.
Note the archive location - Flickr? So, I guess that when you make your images public, you are giving away your rights to them? Another system, which they have named Photo Clip Art, uses a website called LabelMe from which to harvest images as clip art in photos. See, people on this site nicely label their images, so they can find sailboats, children or whatever you might want to add to your scene. There is no mention in any of the three articles that I read on this tool, including the one on the Carnegie Mellon site, about rights. Interesting uh? Now if they were simply testing out the tool, using the Net as a source, that would be fine, but that is not how they presented the tools’ use. Of course, you are only using a part of someone else’s photo, like cutting up a magazine.
Carnegie Mellon graduate students Jean-François Lalonde and Derek Hoiem developed photo Clip Art with Carsten Rother, John Winn and Antonio Criminisi of Microsoft Research Cambridge.
More foundations join the Melon Fund in support of the Digital revolution. HASTAC and MacArthur Foundation are offering $2 million to improve Digital Media in learning; Moore foundation has given Fedora Commons $4.9 million to develop open-source software system that provides the basic infrastructure for on-line communities of scholars and the NEH is soliciting proposals to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
HASTAC and MacArthur Foundation are holding a competition - DIGITAL MEDIA AND LEARNING COMPETITION to decide on who will receive their monies, the deadline for which is October 15, 2007. A common thread here, learning. The Moore foundation has awarded Fedora Commons its grant. Fedora Commons grew out of a collaboration effort between Cornell and University of Virginia. With this support, they will continue to develop their open source software platform, which “enables collaborative models of information creation and sharing, and provides sustainable repositories to secure the digital materials that constitute our intellectual, scientific, and cultural history.” Part of the grant is also to be used to grow and diversify the members of the Commons.
For those with newspaper archives, the NEH is soliciting proposals, which are due November 1, 2007, to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The current awards are up to $400,000. They are giving themselves 20 years to create “a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922.” The Library of Congress will manage the resource. So, if you have such an archive and want assistance in digitizing it, this could be provide the help you need. By the way, they are especially interested in those papers already migrated to microfilm. The grant is for a two-year period, which also shows their wisdom.
September 1, 2007
We are moving on to new technology – the blog and RSS. That way, we can help you stay even more up to date on the latest happenings in the Digital Imaging world. Much as the column Gert Says on DIG-mar.com is a slightly irreverent dialogue on the world of digital imaging, her Musings in the blog form should prove equally insightful and interesting. They may even prove amusing
I encourage you to stay current by selecting the RSS feed to Gert’s Musings to post in your Yahoo or Google homepage, so that you will always be in the know. The link to the RSS feed is at the bottom of the first page on the Blog.
Hope to see all the DigUpdate readers online at the new Blog, Gert’s Musing, to read all the Digital Imaging News Heard in the Alley and on the Line. Now you can talk back, too.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
In another life, an improvisation coach told me that acting was communicating and therefore all should study it. Through acting you learned to express the feelings that you wished to communicate to another. So too, imaging expresses information. When calling an image visual information the question is what is the information it is expressing. Is it a surrogate, a representation of something else and thus relates all the information of the original or is it itself an original. This differentiation has long created a dichotomy for those creating digital image collections.
There are those creating libraries of surrogates, they may be surrogates of objects in real collections or used as teaching points. These libraries are the ones that talk about increased access for many, preservation by reducing handling of the original objects, and improved presentation methods.
Then there are the ones who need improved filing systems to retrieve the right digital file. They talk about reuse. The image itself has a provenance if you will. In the past I had grouped my marketing clients here, but now I see that both my institutional and corporate clients have both such collections. The corporation advertisements are in some ways surrogates for its product which might be seen as its collection. The institution create historical/promotional documentation of its activities whose images are important for the information that they contain. I am just about to co-chair a panel at the MCN annual conference entitled"the DAM - the Many Headed Hydra" where we will discuss this same issue, how do we manage these two different types of collections?