Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges
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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

  • Location-aware Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges Tito Sierra, Brian Dietz, and Markus Wust NCSU Libraries TRLN Annual Meeting 2010 July 19, 2010
  • Outline
    • The Mobile Opportunity
    • Location-aware Digital Collections
    • The WolfWalk Project
      • Background
      • Demo
    • Implementation Challenges
    • Future Directions
    • Final Thoughts
  • The Mobile Opportunity
  • Guessing Game
  • Source: Flickr user ted.sali
  • 23rd Century Star Trek Tricorder (designed in the 1960s)
  • Source: Flickr user clarksworth
  • 24th Century Star Trek Tricorder (designed in the 1980s)
  • Star Trek Tricorder
    • Location scanners
    • Data communication (to/from starship)
    • Holographic messaging
    • Touch screen interface
    • Universal translator (alien languages)
  • Star Trek Tricorder
    • Location scanners
    • Data communication (to/from starship)
    • Holographic messaging
    • Touch screen interface
    • Universal translator (alien languages)
    • SCIENCE FICTION
  • fast forward several years…
  • Apple iPhone (2007) Source: Flickr user shapeshift
  • Apple iPhone 4 (2010) Source: www.apple.com
  • The Future is Now
    • Star Trek Tricorder
    • Location scanners
    • Data communication (to/from starship)
    • Holographic messaging
    • Touch screen interface
    • Universal translator (alien languages)
    • Apple iPhone 4
    • Assisted GPS
    • Data communication (3G and wifi)
    • Video calling
    • Touch screen interface
    • Multi-lingual support (human languages)
  • Apple iPhone 4 (2010)
    • Camera
    • Audio microphone
    • Digital compass
    • Accelerometer
    • Photo and video geotagging
    • High-definition screen display
  • Not Just Apple
    • Google Android
    • Palm Pre
    • Blackberry
    • Today’s mobile computing technology provides a rich toolset for significantly enhancing the user experience with library digital collections.
    • How should libraries approach this opportunity?
  • Location-aware Digital Collections
  • Defining ‘Location-aware DCs’
    • An emerging model for providing access to digital collections and archives that leverages the user’s current location to enhance information discovery, access, and interpretation.
  • Defining ‘Location-aware DCs’
    • An emerging model for providing access to digital collections and archives that leverages the user’s current location to enhance information discovery, access, and interpretation.
    • An approach for creating in situ learning experiences with library collections.
  • ‘ In Situ Learning’ Concept
    • Learning that happens within a real-world physical context.
  • ‘ In Situ Learning’ Concept
    • Learning that happens within a real-world physical context.
    • Not a new concept!
  • Traditional Examples
  • Source: Flickr user Corey Ann
  • Source: Flickr user garryknight
  • Source: Flickr user unforth
  • Technology Enhanced Examples
  • Source: Flickr user opacity
  • Source: Flickr user HowardLake
  •  
  • Source: Flickr user inju
  • Source: Flickr user inju
  • Location-aware Examples
  • PhillyHistory.org
  • PhillyHistory.org
  • PhillyHistory.org
  • LookBackMaps
  • LookBackMaps
  • LookBackMaps
  • LookBackMaps
  • Gowalla Trips
  • Gowalla Trips
  • Gowalla Trips
  • The WolfWalk Project
  • The WolfWalk Project
    • A historical guide to NC State campus
    • University Archives Photo Collection
    • Location-aware
    • Two versions
      • Mobile web app
      • iPhone App
  • User Perspective
    • Make it easy for the NC State campus community to learn about the history of campus while on campus .
  • User Perspective Jason Casden, NCSU Libraries
  • Library Perspective
    • Increase the impact of library archives and special collections by creating a new access model for people to access and interpret this content.
  • Access Models
    • Physical materials access
    • Digital library website access
    • Location-aware mobile access
  • Todd Kosmerick and Adam Berenbak, NCSU Libraries
  • Albums from UA023.005 Campus Views and Facilities Sub-Group
  • Markus Wust, NCSU Libraries
  • Jason Casden, NCSU Libraries
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  • WolfWalk Project Scope
    • WolfWalk is a curated collection of new and existing content organized around campus sites to enable a self-guided walking tour.
  • WolfWalk Project Scope
    • WolfWalk is a curated collection of new and existing content organized around campus sites to enable a self-guided walking tour.
    • Target audience is the NC State community (alumni, students, parents) and visitors to campus.
  • About the Collection
    • 90 campus sites
  • About the Collection
    • 90 campus sites
    • Newly authored site descriptions
  • About the Collection
    • 90 campus sites
    • Newly authored site descriptions
    • 600 images sourced from existing digital image collections
    NC State University Archives Photographic Collection
  • About the Collection
    • 90 campus sites
    • Newly authored site descriptions
    • 600 images sourced from existing digital image collections
    Edward T. Funkhouser Photographs
  • WolfWalk Project Scope
    • WolfWalk is not designed to be a comprehensive interface to all of our digitized collections.
  •  
  • DukeMobile Library Collections Source: news.duke.com
  • WolfWalk Demo
  • WolfWalk Mobile Web http://m.lib.ncsu.edu/wolfwalk
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  • WolfWalk iPhone App Search the App Store for ‘wolfwalk’
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  • Project Team
    • Tito Sierra , Digital Library Initiatives
    • Jason Casden , Digital Library Initiatives
    • Markus Wust , Digital Scholarship and Publishing Center
    • Brian Dietz , Special Collections Research Center
    • Todd Kosmerick , Special Collections Research Center
    • Steven Morris , Digital Library Initiatives
    • Joseph Ryan , Digital Library Initiatives
  • Break for Q&A
  • Implementation Challenges
  • Content Copyright and Reuse
    • How does providing a new access method to digitized collections affect terms of use?
  • Content Copyright and Reuse
    • How does providing a new access method to digitized collections affect terms of use?
    • Were the original terms of use clear to begin with?
  • Metadata Issues
    • Is metadata created for one form of access adequate or appropriate for others?
  •  
  • Historical State
    • Title: President D. H. Hill and staff, North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
    • Subjects: College presidents; Hill, D. H. (Daniel Harvey), 1859-1924; North Carolina State University; People; Teachers
    • Site: [D. H. Hill Library (Raleigh, N.C.)]
    • Description: [D. H. Hill Library is named for Daniel Harvey Hill (1859-1924), an English professor at North Carolina State University and one of the college’s first five faculty members. He was president of the University from 1908-1916. The Library was built in four stages, the east wing first in 1953, the Erdahl-Cloyd Student Union or west wing second in 1954, the old book stack tower third in 1971, and the new book stack tower fourth in 1990. In 2007, a major renovation of the east wing of the library was completed. D. H. Hill Library is the main library of the NCSU Libraries system, which is composed of five library facilities.]
  • WolfWalk
    • Title: D.H. Hill (with pocket watch) and NC State staff
    • Site: DH Hill Library
    • Description: After the first library, located in Brooks Hall, became too small, a new D.H. Hill Library was built in 1953. It was expanded in 1954 and towers were added in 1972 (Bookstack North) and 1990 (Bookstack South). Its namesake, D.H. Hill, was appointed professor of English and bookkeeping in 1889 and became one of the university's first five faculty members. He selected most of the library's books and served as the university's vice president from 1905 to 1908 and president from 1908 to 1916.
  • Media Formatting for Mobile
    • How best to provide high quality images/audio/video without bogging down a device?
  • Media Formatting for Mobile
    • Two options for mobile apps:
    • Bundle media with the downloaded app or serve media over the network.
  • Geo Metadata Issues
    • How do you geotag very large digital collections in a scalable way?
  • Geo Metadata Issues
    • How do you geotag very large digital collections in a scalable way?
    • How does geotagging fit into existing digitization workflows, if at all?
  • Geo Metadata Issues
    • Do you geotag individual objects, such as photographs, or groups of objects representing the same geographic place?
  • Practical Considerations
    • The mobile device landscape is diverse, and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. The costs of testing mobile applications increases with the number of devices supported.
  • Practical Considerations
    • Location-aware mobile interfaces assume some level of data connectivity, which may vary in quality from one geographic location to the next.
  • Future Directions
  • Organizational Collaboration
    • Cross-institutional collaboration to create metadata aggregators
    • Greater geographical coverage
    • Greater content density
    • Example:
      • Location-aware interface to all available historical postcards in North Carolina
  • Growth of Geo Platforms
    • Commercial, location-aware social platforms (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla) are becoming increasingly popular
    • Additional features (e.g., creation of tours/trips, uploading/linking images) may provide libraries, archives, and museums an option to reach a broader audience
  • Growth of Geo Platforms
    • New models for promotion of collections
      • Get “rewards” for visiting physical locations of images
      • Move up in site visit rankings, become “Mayor” of a place of interest
      • Share images with and recommend to other people in network
  • New Access Models
    • Augmented Reality
      • Blending the real and the virtual
      • Overlay virtual content on top of real-time images of physical environment
    • Simple augmented reality already possible
  • Layar Source: layar.eu
  • Situated Simulations
  • Situated Simulations
  • Final Thoughts
  • The Future is Too Bright
    • We've only scratched the surface of what is already possible technologically, let alone what will be possible in the next year or two.
  • Adaptability
    • The current “state-of-the-art” in mobile computing will become commonplace in only a few years time. How do you keep up with evolving technology and user expectations?
  • Learn by Doing
    • Mobile and location-aware access to collections is an emerging area with few existing models. Working in this space requires a willingness to experiment and openness to new ideas.
  • Thank You!
    • Tito Sierra
    • Associate Head, Digital Library Initiatives
    • [email_address]
    • Brian Dietz
    • Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections
    • [email_address]
    • Markus Wust
    • Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian
    • [email_address]