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DigiCULT 57
: L
he table below gives a condensed overview of
what the experts thought could be achieved
in this RTD area over the next 10-15 years. After a
short summary of what they considered to be current
limitations or barriers, the experts' suggestions are
grouped into the phases 2005-2009, 2010-2014, 2015
and beyond. The timeframes and, where given, years
indicate when a certain methodological and/or tech-
nological gap could be closed or some other RTD
breakthrough be achieved. These assessments are of
course dependent on the condition that appropriate
funding levels, RTD collaborations and other require-
ments are met.
2004: Current limitations/barriers
According to most experts, this RTD area needed
to overcome the following limitations or barriers in
order to achieve significant progress:
Quality of legacy data and systems, e.g. traditional
descriptive standards (e.g. MARC) and continued
use of dated protocols (e.g. Z39.50); even for
Dublin Core `continued over-reliance and bend-
ing' was criticised.
Low level of information technology in many
heritage organisations (e.g. archival IT systems)
Inadequate middleware, which hinders transpar-
ent and precise access to heterogeneous types of
Few adaptations of advanced retrieval tools for
structured (textual) content as well as multimedia
Too little promotion of multilingual access to her-
itage content
Furthermore, heritage data centres would need to
be established to which smaller local institutions
could also connect. Creating and managing not only
large repositories but also small-scale yet interopera-
ble digital collections was considered as a challenge.

Overall: An increased use of combinations of `best in class'
technologies and standards
More widespread use of stable, unique ID numbers
and established standards for employing them (e.g. in
versioning of documents)
Increased uptake of XML-based exchange protocols
2005-2006: Realisation of well-documented XML-
based demonstrator systems for content delivery and
presentation (with massive `real data')
2006-2008: Emergence of demonstration systems for
more open, complex network concepts
2006-2008: Development of international standards
for relationship mapping (e.g. in the archival sector)
Increased reliance on multilingual controlled vocab-
ulary (moving away from flat-file terminology lists)
Further development of descriptive models for cer-
tain types of resources (e.g. photographs) that are
used across different heritage domains
Stronger combination of different automatic retrieval
and analysis mechanisms
Research in quality assessment of individual results
of automated methods
Achievements in technologies `that allow for a
graceful interaction of manual and automated proce-
dures' (M. Doerr)
Novel tools for (automatically) creating, managing
and disseminating different types of metadata
Considerable progress in clustering analysis for con-
tent indexing, and in content-based analysis
Emergence of applications that allow users to browse
different granularity levels of information
More sophisticated language technology allowing
some translation on the fly (including use of existing
translations; alignment techniques)
2015 and beyond
Tools that automatically or semi-automatical-
ly extract data from archival records (machine- or
hand-written, maps, etc.), convert them to modern
formats, e.g. for projecting old maps on current ones,
and resolve complicated multi-layer indexes to direct
access (J. Bogaarts)
Generally, what could be achieved over
the next 10-15 years?
`A Charter of Rights of Open Access to all digitised
cultural artefacts... Could be years away, there are
too many vested interests in this sector...' (R. Drage)
`DigiCULT could articulate where the national/
regional institutions sit with the local/personal...
Help people to manage their own heritage?' (A par-
ticipant from a governmental body or agency)
DCTHI7_271104.indd 57
06.12.2004 8:38:23 Uhr