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DigiCULT 69
There is hope, too, for personalised access systems
that know, as Professor Alan Smeaton of Dublin Uni-
versity's Centre for Digital Video Processing put it,
`where I am and what I am currently doing and why
I need access, as well as more "global" contexts such
as what is popular among users like me, what I have
already seen and when I saw it ... a kind of person-
al digital memory. There are wonderful projects like
MyLifeBits
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at MS Research that are instrumenting
the context and history capture.' The problem: `There
is no successful work being done yet on effective use
of context in information access,' said the Professor.
A government agency officer had good news on
topic maps to enhance navigation. The writer gave
the examples of the `fast, satisfying access' to trails
through the Australia Picture Australia
89
project, a his-
tory cooperative by over 30 cultural heritage organi-
sations and local authorities, and the showcases in the
New Zealand National Digital Forum's collabora-
tive online museum Matapihi
90
(`Open the window')
accessible in English and Maori, New Zealand's offi-
cial languages.
Roadmap contributors had even bigger ideas and
hopes for cultural heritage institutions. US Univer-
sity College Los Angeles Professor Anne Gilliland-
Swetland considered that automation of large-scale
holdings was the field where most development was
occurring, `in part because there is an alignment of
commercial and government, as well as cultural herit-
age sector interests'. Now, she thought: `Prior experi-
ence with information retrieval research would seem
to indicate that nifty new technologies and metada-
ta approaches must be developed by researchers with
links to both the practice base and any commercial
interest, to ensure widespread implementation through
readily available software.'
The Professor's hoped-for `nifty technologies' were
just the sort of thing other experts were looking for-
ward to in their schemes for improving digital hold-
ings for institutions.
Roger Drage hoped for microfilm-based heritage
assets in a digital format that would be freely and
widely accessible. He also looked for `a degree of shar-
ing and accessibility which the public would like to
see and would mean a wholesale review of attitudes
to copyright especially where organisations refuse to
allow any copying or will charge for the privilege'.
Andrea De Polo, head of IT for Italy's 150-year-old
photographic agency, Fratelli Alinari,
91
was optimis-
tic about `focused projects, for example, in the area of
automatic indexing'. He forecast that new technolo-
gies would soon be available for better results.
Suellen Stringer-Hye, Web developer and Systems
Librarian for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, looked
for `subject portals using XTM'. She reckoned: `More
time needs to be spent experimenting with XTM to
establish the strengths and limitations of this technolo-
88
MyLifeBits Project.
http://research.microsoft.
com/barc/mediapresence/
MyLifeBits.aspx
89
PictureAustralia. http://
www.pictureaustralia.
org/trails.html
90
Matapihi. http://www.
matapihi.org.nz
91
Fratelli Alinari SpA,
Florence, Italy. http://
www.alinari.com
DCTHI7_271104.indd 69
06.12.2004 8:38:57 Uhr