Friday, May 2, 2008

architecture images in academia: moving into the cloud

The Society of Architectual Historians just received a Mellon grant to build "a dynamic online library of architectural and landscape images for research and teaching."

One thing that's notable in the description of the project is that it aspires to move visual resource collections away from building separate collections at each institution (as has been the case with slides, and initially with digital images) to collaborative creation of a shared collection:
It is the expectation that SAH AVRN will change the way Visual Resources and Art/Architecture Librarians at those institutions conduct their work. Instead of developing separate, independent collections of architectural images for each institution, librarians will contribute images and metadata to SAH AVRN, a shared resource that will be widely available. Initially images will be contributed to SAH AVRN by scholars at the same three institutions who have agreed to share thousands of their own images that were taken for research and pedagogical purposes.
Another intriguing aspect of the proposal is its mention of the development of new technology that will allow the contribution of images by front line people.
Building upon the existing ARTstor platform for storage, retrieval, viewing and presentation of images, ARTstor is going to develop two new tools to be used in conjunction with SAH AVRN. The first is a tool that will enable scholars, practitioners, librarians and others to contribute images to the shared resource of SAH AVRN. The second set of tools will be a content management system that will enable sophisticated processing and management of those images.
Is this the 'academic Flickr' that we've been waiting for?

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