This presentation given at the Information Technology session 193 of the IFLA 2009 conference is building on the full paper published online at http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/193-concordia-en.pdf . It is putting some key aspects of European technical developments in relation with other sessions of the conference that were looking at digital libraries like the statistics session or the digital libraries workshop.
The Europeana version1 current project is following the EuropeanaNet first project. The EDL Foundation was incorporated in November 2007 Provide a single access point is one of the objectives of the European Digital Library initiatives.
The prototype set up during the first EuropeanaNet project integrated content from willing institutions through a rather informal contribution. The network of contributing institutions is now being organised, with contractual agreement, licensing framework, scheduling of updates for continuous contribution. The organisation is building on aggregators as Europeana cannot manage directly the thousands of institutions which are providing content. Aggregators can be at the national or domain level. They are also projects of the Europeana group of projects out of which 10 are currently providing content to Europeana. All those projects are working on data models for their own domain, harmonisation of practices, some are working on vocabularies or classifications using SKOS. For instance the MIMO project will set up a simple classification of music instruments. All the projects are also setting up OAI PMH data servers that Europeana will harvest. The content contribution is going both ways along the hierarchy of institutions as the semantic enrichment and the user generated content could be given back to the interested contributing institutions.
High level surrogate object model. The surrogate is linked to semantic nodes related to the classical search on what , who , where and when . It can also be linked to other surrogates.
The more detailed model discussed in the project analysed the context of the born digital object and the digitised object. The semantic nodes were also revisited and the last addition since the publication of the model is the event semantic node which is very important in the cultural heritage context and already used in the Museums community for instance.
The user access is proposed by an horizontal navigation through the semantic network linking to the surrogates. The semantic layer is working with skosified vocabularies and authority files from the different domains. Europeana is not creating a unique vocabulary. There is a one to one correspondence between surrogates and digital objects and the definition and granularity of the object is an ongoing discussion in the project. At the beginning the lowest possible level of granularity was requested. The different projects are bringing a more complex picture and it is obvious that several levels can be accepted for compound objects as long as a distinct surrogate can be built: for instance we can accept a whole book as an object and at the same time pages inside the book if they have specific descriptive metadata and are linked to specific semantic nodes.
Europeana is a central access point to distributed digital repositories and services to users and part of a virtual circle of cultural heritage sites as well as open to the global web. The objective is to facilitate a smooth intuitive navigation across the services wherever the user came into the circle from a specialised service or a generalist one. Some of the partners are dark portals just aggregating content for Europeana. Others are true portals offering services to users on the Web. The Europeana network had an important discussion about the branding and the statistics very similar to what was presented in the IFLA session on statistics about the usage of Digital Collections http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/92-navarrete-en.pdf . In users survey the users only remember and record the entry point in the network of services. One of the responses to the questions raised in the organisation of such a circle of services is the implementation of APIs. ( Application Programming Interface)
The published paper http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/193-concordia-en.pdf is going more in detail on the modular architecture of Europeana and internal and external APIs.
A lot o public APIs exist in classical information retrieval domain like for instance Search APIs.
But also facilitating Web 2.0 like Tagging APIs. 9 ones are presented on the programmableweb.com site.
First link corresponds to the Europeana portal prototype Second link corresponds to the Europeana Version1 European project web site
Portrait Of Europeana As An Api
Not (just) a Repository, nor (just) a Digital Library, nor (just) a Portal: a portrait of Europeana as an API Paper by Cesare Concordia, Stefan Gradmann and Sjoerd Siebinga, presented by Catherine Lupovici at IFLA, Milan in session 193 of the IT section, 27 August 2009
What is Europeana? <ul><li>Europeana is a European Commission funded project of the EDL Foundation. eContentPlus programme </li></ul><ul><li>Objective to provide a single access point to the digital content from Europe’s Cultural Heritage institutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archives, Audio-Visual archives, Libraries, and Museums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In November 2008 the first prototype was launched: http:// www.europeana.eu with 4 million items. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In July 2010, the operation service will be launched with over 10 million items. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Europeana group of projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Run by different cultural heritage institutions, partly funded by the European Commission under econtentPlus programme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will be contributing technology solutions and content </li></ul></ul>
Europeana content & object model <ul><li>Europeana stores Digital Object Surrogates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata, licensing information, abstractions, annotations, representations like a landing page or ORE resource maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View, play, reuse is done in the object’s original website and objects are stored in distributed repositories at institution and/or aggregator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Europeana Object model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to interoperate with the object models used by contributing projects and aggregators when ingesting the contributed content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to handle content created by Europeana at the ingestion stage & user generated content. Could be links to nodes of semantic network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to allow the Europeana content dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to the user centered services proposed in the Europeana business model </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to other applications building services on the Europeana repository of Digital Object Surrogates </li></ul></ul></ul>
User access: virtual circle of cultural heritage sites
Europeana and APIs <ul><li>Strong requirement for an effective interaction between Europeana portal and partners discovery applications and agreement on the services to the users to be covered </li></ul><ul><li>Europeana functional architecture specifications proposes APIs for interaction with external services such as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata enrichment, geolocating services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surrogate exposure as the standard way of surrogate delivery to other applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More services to be defined for the second release April 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End user centered </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External application centered </li></ul></ul></ul>
What is an API <ul><li>An application programming interface ( API ) is an interface that defines the ways by which an application program may request services from another program and/or operating system </li></ul><ul><li>A Web Service (also Webservice ) is an API based on the http web protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Available Public APIs http:// www. programmableweb .com </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>First release will include at least a simple Europeana search API </li></ul><ul><li>The Europeana.eu source code is made available under a European Union Public Licence [EUPL] open source license </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We encourage the community to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>use the Europeana code and data in their own environments for experimentation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>download the code on EuropeanaLabs for reuse locally </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Europeana is creating a lab environment for partners to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>test code and new functionality that is being delivered as part of their work plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop innovations and additional features that will benefit Europeana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use the Europeana source code and representative datasets to experiment with new applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://version1.europeana.eu/web/europeana-project/documents </li></ul></ul>