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Image directories by RSS aggregation Phil Barker (1) , Lisa Rogers (2) (1) Engineering Subject Centre & (1&2) ICBL, Heriot...
Background <ul><li>CLIC (Community Led Image Collections) Report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exist many (sometimes small) image...
Background <ul><li>JISC offered funding to (some?) subject centres to test this idea. </li></ul><ul><li>We agreed to </li>...
Value of engineering image collections <ul><li>Commissioned reviews from engineering academics of relevant collections in ...
Value of engineering image collections <ul><li>“ Really the only use for these images would be in giving a historical pers...
Demonstrator <ul><li>No problems finding tools to create and aggregate RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the aggregators...
Demonstrator <ul><li>Found RSS2HTML (JavaScript) will handle images well  http://www.rss2html.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>But o...
 
Demonstrator <ul><li>Gives good visual overview of image collection </li></ul><ul><li>Slooooooow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for...
Demonstrator <ul><li>Asynchronous approach to downloading images (AJAX) </li></ul><ul><li>Grazr  (http://www.grazr.com/) <...
 
Demonstrator <ul><li>Faster </li></ul><ul><li>But less effective at giving quick overview of collection </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Demonstrator <ul><li>If doing this now would looked at slideshow / carousel widgets, but didn’t find any at the time </li>...
Getting feeds <ul><li>We couldn’t get any. Not one. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most collection owners (all the ones we could fi...
Conclusions <ul><li>A simple technical solution is possible ... if a little limited. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loads of possib...
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Image directories by RSS aggregation

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Presentation given to a meeting of HE Academy technical representatives about case study on creating a visual directory of image collections using RSS, See http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/images/ for more details.

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Image directories by RSS aggregation

  1. 1. Image directories by RSS aggregation Phil Barker (1) , Lisa Rogers (2) (1) Engineering Subject Centre & (1&2) ICBL, Heriot-Watt University. Phil Barker, Jan 2007. You may reproduce all or any part of this presentation but please retain acknowledgement of authorship & copyright. Also I would appreciate it if you let me know how you are using it and sent me any feedback <philb@icbl.hw.ac.uk>.
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>CLIC (Community Led Image Collections) Report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exist many (sometimes small) image collections run by enthusiasts / specialists focussed on narrow topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual image directories might be useful in disseminating information about these </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kick-start interoperability using RSS feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/CLIC_Report.pdf </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>JISC offered funding to (some?) subject centres to test this idea. </li></ul><ul><li>We agreed to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appraise value of the image collections CLiC had found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a demonstrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to get collections to implement RSS to populate demonstrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... 22 days work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(work done in middle of 2007) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Value of engineering image collections <ul><li>Commissioned reviews from engineering academics of relevant collections in CLiC report. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did want to use images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Want series of images or animations showing current technical practice: processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Found static images of historic interest </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Value of engineering image collections <ul><li>“ Really the only use for these images would be in giving a historical perspective on civil engineering and the types of projects which were undertaken. </li></ul><ul><li>There is not much to excite a prospective student, nor to assist in the learning process for current undergraduates. In my view, only around five or six of the images [out of the 50 available online] would be useful for teaching and learning purposes” </li></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepatersonsphotos/457035018/
  6. 6. Demonstrator <ul><li>No problems finding tools to create and aggregate RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the aggregators didn’t handle images well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Image as enclosure, as in podcasts ... but don’t want “play” icon instead of image being displayed. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Demonstrator <ul><li>Found RSS2HTML (JavaScript) will handle images well http://www.rss2html.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>But only from a single feed per page </li></ul><ul><li>So used iFrames to several pages in one window </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/images/images.html </li></ul>
  8. 9. Demonstrator <ul><li>Gives good visual overview of image collection </li></ul><ul><li>Slooooooow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for each page need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-time connections to multiple sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download many images (which aren’t always thumbnails!) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Demonstrator <ul><li>Asynchronous approach to downloading images (AJAX) </li></ul><ul><li>Grazr (http://www.grazr.com/) </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/images/engimages.html </li></ul>
  10. 12. Demonstrator <ul><li>Faster </li></ul><ul><li>But less effective at giving quick overview of collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since have to look at images one by one </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. Demonstrator <ul><li>If doing this now would looked at slideshow / carousel widgets, but didn’t find any at the time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. http:// billwscott.com /carousel/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology of demonstrator qualified success </li></ul>
  12. 14. Getting feeds <ul><li>We couldn’t get any. Not one. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most collection owners (all the ones we could find) were agreeable to concept (though they didn't all see the point) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They had no time, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or no money, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or it had to be done by someone else within/outwith their organization. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. Conclusions <ul><li>A simple technical solution is possible ... if a little limited. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loads of possible enhancements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No way to implement interoperability after development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need commitment from the right people at the right time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational issues matter </li></ul>

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