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Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges
 

Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges

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Recent advances in mobile computing have created enormous opportunities for libraries to provide innovative user experiences with library services and collections. New mobile device platforms include ...

Recent advances in mobile computing have created enormous opportunities for libraries to provide innovative user experiences with library services and collections. New mobile device platforms include technologies that enable the creation of location-aware services that utilize the user’s current location to enhance information discovery or content filtering. This presentation will focus on the application of these technologies to archives and special collections, using the recently developed NCSU Libraries WolfWalk project as a case study. We will examine the opportunities and challenges of building location-aware digital collections in the near term, and highlight possible future directions.

Delivered at the TRLN Annual Meeting in 2010.

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  • An tri-fold guide from the National Park Service about a Civil War battle in northern Virginia.
  • National Botanical Gardens, Wales.
  • Existing metadata is organized around a resource—the photograph—rather than a site.
  • Existing digital image collections, such as the University Archives Photograph Collection. Shown is an image of the Agricultural and Mechanical College Annual Cross County Run Hillsborough Street in 1910.
  • Existing digital image collections, such as the Edward T. Funkhouser Photographs. Shown is an image of the Krispy Kreme Challenge on Hillsborough Street in 2010.
  • UAPC physical collection: about 250,000 prints, negatives, and slides Digital content from UAPC: about 16,000 Edward T. Funkhouser Photographs: about 6,000 WolfWalk: about 600 images
  • Description of pictured sites vary in extent, quality, and structure, and, at the time WolfWalk began, was stored in production and legacy metadata databases.
  • Providing mobile access to digital content introduces some opportunities and challenges that are distinct from online digital collections.
  • For the WolfWalk project we opted to delivery images over the network, rather than package them with the app. To make this work well we had to strike a balance in terms of image quality and low network latency. We wanted to provide a quality image that afforded pinch to zoom without bogging down users’ devices. The benefit of sourcing media over the network is that we can add and edit content behind the scenes without requiring the user to re-download the app. The downside of this approach is that users are unable to access the content offline… a persistent data connection is required. We do not have an image server that could provide pre-sized images through a call to the server. All derivatives were created by hand and were reviewed for quality.

Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges Presentation Transcript