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Tom Crane - An Introduction to IIIF

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Presentation given by Tom Crane, Technical Director, Digirati Ltd, introducing the principles of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), at the IIIF Showcase and Workshop, 12 March 2018 in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin

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Tom Crane - An Introduction to IIIF

  1. 1. “You know, for content”
  2. 2. An Introduction to IIIF Tom Crane Technical Director Digirati Ltd
  3. 3. Let’s just put stuff online…
  4. 4. Common themes • Book readers/viewers/page turners • Deep Zoom • Transcriptions, OCR, full text • Annotation, comments, content creation related to the object • Linking to other objects • Some bespoke format for delivering a sequence of images to a bespoke viewer
  5. 5. Tens of thousands of silos of non-interoperable content Grain elevators, Caldwell, Idaho, by Lee Russell, 1941. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsac.1a34206/
  6. 6. The reinvention of wheels • Billions of digitised hi-res images of cultural heritage • Millions of resources – books, maps, manuscripts… • Thousands of beautiful snowflakes* • We want to share the best tools and platforms • We want to mix content and share resources across institutions, across the world • We want to bring our own tools to use with other people’s digital objects
  7. 7. The Presentation API
  8. 8. The Presentation API
  9. 9. How do we do that? Let’s make a standard! Hmm, we’ve got all of cultural heritage to worry about. And more.
  10. 10. What happened there? • I think it went downhill after someone said “author”
  11. 11. • How can I provide enough information for a software client to present a complex digital object, AND provide a good user experience? • Don’t get entangled in descriptive metadata standards… especially in libraries, museums and archives. • We’re doing something else. Regroup…
  12. 12. Descriptive Semantics Presentation Semantics The Human Presentation API is just how we navigate the world
  13. 13. More Human Presentation API
  14. 14. Digital Surrogate I still have my cultural awareness when looking at a digital surrogate …but the computer needs assistance in presenting that digital surrogate to me It needs to be mediated by metadata that can drive a viewing experience so my human cultural awareness can take over again
  15. 15. IIIF: Two Core APIs “get pixels” via a simple, RESTful, web service Just enough metadata to drive a remote viewing experience Image API Presentation API
  16. 16. • Descriptive metadata doesn’t help us get pixels on screen • Read the pages • Look at the brush strokes • See the film grain • IIIF Presentation provides • A model for describing digital representations of objects • A format for software - viewing tools, annotation clients, web sites - to consume and render the objects and the statements made about them • The model defines a shared abstract space for rendering this content
  17. 17. Manifests for things A book. A painting. A film. A sculpture. An opera. A long- playing record. A manuscript. A map. An aural history field recording. A videocassette of a public information film. A laboratory notebook. A diary. A manifest is what you open in your player/viewer/annotation workbench
  18. 18. A IIIF manifest • …is a markup document for presenting digital objects (not describing them) • It’s also JSON. It’s also linked data. • Driven by cultural heritage use cases, but not limited to them • By publishing a manifest, you publish a list of one or more abstract spaces to the web, which you can paint content on via annotation. • Other people can make statements about - annotate - these spaces too.
  19. 19. Canvases for views, Annotations for content By publishing this:
  20. 20. …you define a 2D space for content: (0,0) (3110, 2102)
  21. 21. Familiar concept of annotation
  22. 22. IIIF Concept { "@id": "https://wellcomelibrary.org/iiif/b22031261/canvas/c0", "@type": "sc:Canvas", "width": 10000, "height": 15000, ... }
  23. 23. Same canvas, multiple images
  24. 24. Recombination through annotation
  25. 25. Annotations provide content • Any web resource • Images, video, sound, text • The same mechanism for association with the canvas is used for all the other things we want to say, or other people want to say
  26. 26. Saying things about objects and collections • Why is this object in the exhibition? • Here is a blog post about this painting • There’s no video available here, but this is the screenplay for this missing 20 minutes of The Magnificent Ambersons • …and here are some production stills for 49m23s-51m17s • “Tourteletes in fryture” means “Small fig pies basted with honey” • Here is the curator’s essay for this collection • Here is a transcription of this letter • Here is an article about this correspondence • These four engravings are all views from this location
  27. 27. All these things can be said with annotations
  28. 28. Another perspective • This slide deck could be a IIIF manifest • Each slide could be a canvas • Text, images, audio and video annotated onto each canvas is the content • I could put an image of a digitised manuscript page on each slide, send you the deck representing the whole manuscript, and you could make notes on it • Unlike .ppt, IIIF is JSON • Specifically, JSON-LD: it’s also linked data • It’s a lot easier to do things on the web with it • Canvases have stable IDs so I can talk about your stuff • We can do things with what people say about the stuff…
  29. 29. How do we find all these annotations? - The Search API
  30. 30. …so far only two dimensions: (0,0) (3110, 2102)
  31. 31. British Library Save our Sounds Images: British Library
  32. 32. I have a vinyl album (LP) It has two discs, each with 2 sides I have made digital transfers of the discs; one file per side I have made digital images of the sleeve, the liner notes and the disc labels. AV archival item
  33. 33. Scenario 12 • I have two cassettes, each with two sides. • They contain a single oral history interview. • The interview starts on the first side of the first cassette and ends on the final side of the second cassette. • I have made digital transfers from the cassettes; one file per side. • I have a plain text transcript with timing indicators
  34. 34. Annotate time-based media onto the canvas You can do this today, but you can’t target the time dimension Without that only the very simplest use case is possible
  35. 35. “You know, for content”

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