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Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus A Framework for Access to the Nation’s Heritage.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus A Framework for Access to the Nation’s Heritage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus A Framework for Access to the Nation’s Heritage

2 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 2 See We are here…

3 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 3 Topics to Consider What is the nation’s Heritage ? Trustees of the Heritage Moving Online What is Metadata? Some UK experiences Internationalisation Access to the Nation’s Heritage Generalising a model… Conclusions

4 What is the nation’s Heritage ?

5 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 5

6 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 6

7 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 7 The nation’s heritage is… Physical Tangible Enriching Inclusive National For us Finite Valuable Digital Ephemeral Uncomfortable Excluding International For our children Ever-expanding Expensive

8 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 8 The nation’s heritage is…

9 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 9 Valuing the Heritage…? Cultural memory, which is documented in the collections of museums, libraries and archives throughout the world, is a vital part of the human endeavour. It represents the knowledge accumulated through the generations, and enables humanity to build on the achievements of those who have gone before us. Cultural memory: Benefits individuals, by promoting a sense of identity through shared cultural values and by supporting the quest for lifelong learning; Benefits communities, by promoting economic prosperity and fostering the understanding that leads to a civil and just society; and Benefits humanity as a whole, by promoting the values we share as global citizens and by increasing our capacity to connect with one another to meet universal challenges. Museums, libraries and archives—often called memory institutions—are trusted organizations that collectively document the entire range of human experience and expression. Memory institutions are engaged in the important work of: Capturing, authenticating, and making sense of cultural memory; Preserving the human record for future generations; and Sharing knowledge to support education and learning. See “ ”

10 Trustees of the Heritage

11 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 11 Memory Institutions Museums & Galleries, Libraries, Archives… Hold the memory of the Nation in trust Actively interpret (Usually) under sell themselves Possibly perpetuate organisational structures irrelevant to the user Offer a ‘human’ side of Government ?

12 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 12 Some facts In the UK, more people visit museums than go to theme parks and pop concerts Visiting libraries is more popular than going to the cinema There are over 4,000 public library branches in the UK The vast majority will be connected to the ‘Peoples Network’ by % already are.

13 Moving Online

14 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 14 Heritage Online Placed online, large parts of the Heritage can become: available to the Nation, 24/7 accessible ‘democratised’, and available equally to the inhabitants of Wellington, and of a small village on the South Island a powerful advert for New Zealand comparable to similar resources from elsewhere viable as enablers and facilitators of Learning, both formal and lifelong.

15 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 15 Some assumptions Having access to digital surrogates of cultural heritage material is ‘useful’ and desirable The public sector has a role to play in this, beyond simply granting digitisation rights to Microsoft Availability of regional/national/international corpora of material is more useful to the user than hundreds or thousands of individual sites Metadata is key to making the vision reality.

16 What is Metadata?

17 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 17 What is ‘Metadata’? –meaningless jargon –or a fashionable, and terribly misused, term for what we’ve always done –or “a means of turning data into information” –and “data about data” –and the name of a person (‘Tony Blair’) –and the title of a book (‘The Name of the Rose’).

18 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 18 What is ‘Metadata’? Metadata may be applied to almost anything; People Places Objects Concepts Web pages Databases.

19 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 19 What is ‘Metadata’? Resource Discovery Metadata fulfils three main functions; Description of resource content –“What is it?” Description of resource form –“How is it constructed?” Description of resource use –“Can I afford it?”.

20 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 20 ‘Metadata’ is Cataloguing made cool But still a bit geeky? An important driver for the information economy ? A panacea in the battle against information overload ? Potentially useful as an affordable and cost–effective means of unlocking a wealth of resources ?.

21 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 21 Some assumptions Having access to digital surrogates of cultural heritage material is ‘useful’ and desirable The public sector has a role to play in this, beyond simply granting digitisation rights to Microsoft Availability of regional/national/international corpora of material is more useful to the user than hundreds or thousands of individual sites Metadata is key to making the vision reality.

22 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 22 Some more assumptions Distribution is better than centralisation Portals are good Thick portals are better A single portal is bad Shared middleware services play a key role The problem is bigger than the UK or New Zealand.

23 Some UK experiences

24 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 24 Further and Higher Education…

25 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 25 JISC Joint Information Systems Committee –“…to stimulate and enable the cost–effective exploitation of information systems and to provide a high quality national network infrastructure…” –‘development’ not ‘research’ –Funded by ‘top–slice’ from the Further (college) and Higher (university) Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland –Funds the Network, eLib, the JISC Data Centres, UKOLN, the Focus posts, DNER Programme, etc.. See

26 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 26 Web Content (local and remote) End-user Many different services Each has own user interface Each has a learning curve The current picture Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

27 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 27 The DNER Distributed National Electronic Resource Policy aspiration of the Joint Information Systems Committee Intended to provide greater access to JISC’s Current Content Collection –RDN –AHDS –MIMAS, EDINA, BIDS/Ingenta, Data Archive –EDUSERVE –COPAC –eLib projects etc. See

28 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 28 Building the IE See Z39.50 as part of the ‘glue’ Thus, JISC funding of Bath Profile development, working closely with NLC, NLA and others Also placing Open Archives model within overall architecture Technical Standards document prepared by UKOLN and JISC applied initially to projects started by a $NZ30,000,000 funding allocation in 2000; intended to make resources useful for learning and teaching further applied to other programmes as they begin Technical requirements for external contributors also written.

29 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 29 Towards an Architecture Need for contextualisation What are people doing And what are the best technologies to help them? How can we move towards the appearance of seamless service? No one-fit solution. See

30 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 30 Towards an architecture Search Z39.50 and the Bath Profile Harvest OAI Alert RSS Shared Middleware Services Authenticate, Authorise, Collection Description, User Preference, Institutional Preference… See

31 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 31 JISC’s Information Environment Broker/Aggregator Portal Content providers End-user Portal Broker/Aggregator Authentication Authorisation Collect’n Desc Service Desc Resolver Inst’n Profile Shared services Provision layer Fusion layer Presentation layer Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

32 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 32 publishing tools shared services portals content brokers and aggregators Architectural summary provision fusioninfrastructure presentation registries terminology indexing resolution authentication authorisation citation linking m2m Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

33 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 33 Building the IE Construction of various Portals to facilitate user–centric access ‘JISC Portal’ ? Data Centre Portals (EDINA, MIMAS…) Subject Portals (the RDN, ADS, etc.) Data Type Portals (images, movies, sound…) Institutional Portals Personal Portals (Paul’s web!) Also providing other access to discrete resources. See

34 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 34 National or Local? JISC building various national services, including portals Institutions also building portals, Managed/Virtual Learning Environments, myLibrary services, etc. Where do we see the role for all?

35 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 35 See

36 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 36 See port.hull.ac.uk/ soon!

37 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 37 Lifelong Learning…

38 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 38 nof–digi New Opportunities Fund receives money from the UK’s National Lottery nof–digi programme committing $NZ150,000,000 over 2–3 years to digitisation of learning materials for use in lifelong learning UKOLN providing coordinated (and partially mandatory) technical guidelines across the programme, and a support service. See

39 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 39 nof–digi Managed Programme Initial call for proposals closed January 2000 Shortlisted projects informed summer 2000 –Given until January 2001 to submit detailed business plans, conforming to technical guidelines Over 130 projects funded summer 2001 Most projects to run for 18–24 months –Required to maintain services for at least 36 months beyond end of funding.

40 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 40 Culture OnLine Announced September 2000 “ Culture Online’s remit would be to use digital technologies to widen access to the resources of the arts and cultural sector, for the purposes of learning and enjoyment both at school and throughout life.” Building directly upon NOF, and the lessons it teaches Awaiting final decision on the way in which this initiative will move forward. See

41 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 41 The Middleware debate Recognition of the need for infrastructure… But how far should the centre either mandate or provide this? –Search technologies –Harvesting/cross–search –Metadata –Shared terminological controls –Authentication/authorisation –MLE/VLE interaction –Collection Level Description –etc. Should the centre only provide middleware, and leave the citizen/user-facing work to downstream organisations?

42 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 42 Reaching the Citizen…

43 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 43 Government “to make the UK the best environment in the world for e-commerce by 2002 to ensure that everyone who wants it has access to the internet by 2005 to make all government services available electronically by 2005” Focus upon services Focus upon the citizen Focus upon the Joined Up approach Recognition of multi–channel architecture “By 2004 the Internet will be the dominant means of enabling ready access to government information, services and processes” See

44 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 44 Focus on services Deliver services to the citizen Services rather than resources –‘transactional’ web sites Not just about finding documents on a web site Change of address service; –https://www.addressingthechange.com –www.ihavemoved.com/ –www.simplymove.co.uk/. See

45 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 45 Focus on the Citizen Move away from the ‘silo mentality’ Citizens need/want access to information/services/resources –These exist in different parts of local and national government, organised according to internal needs or procedures, and packaged according to particular house styles and conventions –None of which helps the citizen who just wants a new wheely bin (a.k.a ‘Garbage can’/ ‘trash can’/ ‘dumpster’ ?) See

46 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 46

47 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 47 Recognise a multi– channel future The web is not the only game in town… Mobile phones/ WAP/ 3G PDAs Digital TV Telephone call centres One stop shop drop–in centres High street information kiosks The Post Office Banks Traditional access mechanisms So… create content once for largely automated repackaging and repurposing XML Schema/ XSL, etc….

48 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 48 The e–GIF e–Government Interoperability Framework Technical standards and policies at the heart of e–Government Conformance is mandatory across the Public Sector Adoption of Internet and Web standards across government XML/XSL, plus government–specific schemas Change of Address service, for example, utilises XML Schemas to pass details between participants. See

49 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 49 The e–GIF e–Government Interoperability Framework Version 4 released in April Incorporates Metadata Framework (Dublin Core), the UK Government Metadata Element Set, and the Government Category List. See

50 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 50 Internationalisation

51 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 51 Level 7 An activity in need of a name! Organised with support from CIMI and Resource Recognised growing synergies between content creation activities globally Gathered funders and programme managers in London Reported in issue 5 of Cultivate Interactive. See

52 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 52 The Cultural Content Forum ? Met in Washington in March around 40 representatives from Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan Clear interest in a user focus new work item to gather and explore existing user evaluation work, in order to develop a better picture of what users want.

53 Access to the Nation’s Heritage

54 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 54 A premise We want to provide useful services to our users. These should be –Usable –Functional –Fit-for-purpose –yet cool and attractive –Sustainable –Interoperable And could be –Informational –Transactional Technical standards are the dull but necessary reality for making this happen.

55 Generalising a model…

56 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 56 In search of solutions… A common approach Mandated as a condition of grant? –nof–digi technical standards and guidelines –Although evidence of voluntary adoption… –DNER Learning & Teaching Programme technical guidelines –Canadian Digital Cultural Content Initiative technical guidelines –e–GIF An open approach –Avoidance of proprietary solutions –Based on emerging or established standards –XML based. Mappable to Dublin Core….

57 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 57 A consensus–based approach Need community adoption and understanding Data creators and providers need a sense of ownership An evolutionary approach Channels New standards New user requirements Remember preservation. In search of solutions…

58 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 58 An architecture Integrated information environment is complex An overarching architecture helps to place individual features in context –searching –harvesting –alerting –Shared middleware –Common identifiers, etc. See

59 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 59 Part of a model Placing detailed descriptions of all cultural artefacts online infeasible? Expensive A big job! Leads to information overload Collection Level Description a way forward Pointers into collections Easier to harmonise across domains Achievable. See

60 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 60 The Big Issue(s) Language Whether ‘technical’ or vernacular Terminological control Shared subject terms Certification/ Authenticity How do I know it’s an authoritative description of the Mona Lisa ? Infrastructure How to enable cross–search? Meeting the requirements of new users Largely let down by our current offerings. See

61 Conclusions

62 15 May 2002National Digital Forum, Wellington, New Zealand 62 Conclusions The Heritage matters a digitised Heritage may be exploited in new ways, by new and old markets Effective exploitation requires Cooperation, collaboration, and consensus building shared vision new ways of working institutional and organisational change –is ‘library’ a meaningful concept to the learner? –is ‘museum’? an interoperable technical base We need to be responsive to the needs of our users cultural tourist, student, lifelong learner, professional….

63 Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus A Framework for Access to the Nation’s Heritage


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