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20 MARCH 2014

Information visualisation through the analysis of image sources

Lev Manovich speaking about his work on the Selfiecity.net project (part 1) at the 'Visualized' conference in New York, 6-7 February 2014.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 JANUARY 2014

Interface functions: conceptually similar operationally different

"I am going to argue that 'media independence' does not just happen by itself. For a technique to work with various data types, programmers have to implement a different method for each data type. Thus, media–independent techniques are general concepts translated into algorithms, which can operate on particular data types. Let us look at some examples.

Consider the omnipresent cut and paste. The algorithm to select a word in a text document is different from the algorithm to select a curve in a vector drawing, or the algorithm to select a part of a continuous tone (i.e. raster) image. In other words, 'cut and paste' is a general concept that is implemented differently in different media software depending on which data type this software is designed to handle. (In Larry Tesler's original implementation of the universal commands concept done at PARC in 1974–5, it only worked for text editing.) Although cut, copy, paste, and a number of similar 'universal commands' are available in all contemporary GUI applications for desktop computers (but not necessarily in mobile phone apps), what they actually do and how they do it is different from application to application.

Search operates in the same way. The algorithm to search for a particular phrase in a text document is different than the algorithm that searches for a particular face in a photo or a video clip. (I am talking here about 'content–based search,' i.e. the type of search which looks for information inside actual images, as opposed to only searching image titles and other metadata the way image search engines such as Google Image Search were doing it in the 2000s.) However, despite these differences the general concept of search is the same: locating any elements of a single media object–or any media objects in a larger set–to match particular user–defined criteria. Thus we can ask the web browser to locate all instances of a particular word in a current web page; we can ask a web search engine to locate all web pages which contain a set of keywords; and we can ask a content–based image search engine to find all images that are similar in composition to an image we provided. ...

Against these historical developments, the innovation of media software clearly stands. They bring a new set of techniques which are implemented to work across all media. Searchability, findability, linkability, multimedia messaging and sharing, editing, view control, zoom and other 'mediaindependent' techniques are viruses that infect everything software touches–and therefore in their importance they can be compared to the basic organizing principles for media and artifacts which were used for thousands of years."

(Lev Manovich, 2013, pp.113–124)

Manovich, L. (2013). "Software Takes Command", Continuum.

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1974algorithm • black box model • black box system • black box theory • content-based • content-based search • continuous tone • cut and pastedata typesdesktop computer • findability • general concepts • Google Image Search • GUI applications • high-level designimage identificationimage searchimage search engine • implemented differently • keyword search • Larry Tesler • Lev Manovich • linkability • low-level implementation • media independence • media production • media software • media-independent techniques • media-independent techniques from different implementations • metadata • polymorphism • raster imagesearch algorithmsearch engine • search phrase • search toolsearchabilitytechnology affordances • text document • text editing • text selection • TinEye • universal commands • vector graphicvisual searchweb search engineweb searchingXerox PARC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

National Archives of Australia: Archives Viewer

"Say hello to the Archives Viewer (naming things isn't really one of my strengths). Instead of rewriting my existing script I decided to create a completely new web application. Why? Mainly because it gave me a lot more flexibility. I could also make use of a variety of existing tools and frameworks like Django, Bootstrap, Isotope and FancyBox. Standing upon the code of giants, I had the whole thing up and running in a single weekend. The code is available on GitHub.

What does it do? Simply put, just feed the Archives Viewer the barcode of a digitised file in RecordSearch and it grabs the metadata and images and displays them in a variety of useful ways. It's really pretty simple, both in execution and design.

Yep, there's a wall. It's not quite as spacey and zoom–y as the CoolIris version, but perhaps that's a good thing. It's just a flat wall of page image thumbnails with a bit of lightbox–style magic thrown in. But when I say just, well... look for yourself. There's something a bit magical about seeing all the pages of a file at once, taking in their shapes and colours as well as their content. This digital wall provides a strangely powerful reminder of the physical object.

Of course you can also view the file page by page if you want. Printing is a snap – just type in any combination of pages or page ranges and hit the button. The images and metadata are assembled ready to print. No more wondering 'which file did this print out come from?'.

But perhaps the most important feature is that each page has it's own unique, persistent url. Basic stuff, but oh, so important. With a good url you can share and cite. Find something exciting? Tell the world about it! I've included your typical social media share buttons to help you along."

(Tim Sherratt, 29 August 2012)

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Archives Viewer • barcodeBootstrap (toolkit)collections • CoolIris • digital humanities • Django • FancyBox • GitHub • image viewer • Invisible Australians • Isotope • lightboxmetadataNational Archives of Australia • persistent url • RecordSearch • Tim Sherratt • web applicationwhite Australia policy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 JULY 2012

Annotate That! content commentary and sharing application

"Annotate That! is a free unique annotating service. Share web pages, images or documents with others and add your comments using annotations. Simply click on the web page or medium to make your annotation."

(Dean Claydon, We Create Digital)

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add your comments • annotate • Annotate That! • annotating service • annotationannotation serviceannotationsaugmentationaugmentative communicationaugmented contentcomment systemcontent sharingcooperative design knowledgecritical commentarycritique • Dean Claydon • digital contentembellishmenterasurehypermediacyinformation sharinginterpretationjuxtapositionlayerlayeredlayering • make your annotation • metadataorganisationoverlaypalimpsestreinterpretationresearch toolsharesharing and distributing knowledge • sharing application • sharing ideasstackingtext layers • We Create Digita

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2012

Open Archives Initiative

"The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives Initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e–print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. The fundamental technological framework and standards that are developing to support this work are, however, independent of the both the type of content offered and the economic mechanisms surrounding that content, and promise to have much broader relevance in opening up access to a range of digital materials. As a result, the Open Archives Initiative is currently an organization and an effort explicitly in transition, and is committed to exploring and enabling this new and broader range of applications. As we gain greater knowledge of the scope of applicability of the underlying technology and standards being developed, and begin to understand the structure and culture of the various adopter communities, we expect that we will have to make continued evolutionary changes to both the mission and organization of the Open Archives Initiative.

The OAI–ORE Executive provides overall leadership to the project and holds primary responsibility for the project budget and the ultimate success of the work. Carl Lagoze – Computing and Information Science, Cornell University, Herbert Van de Sompel – Digital Library Research and Prototyping, Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library.

Funding and Support: Support for Open Archives Initiative activities has come from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Coalition for Networked Information, the Digital Library Federation, and from the National Science Foundation (IIS–9817416 and IIS–0430906)."

(Open Archives Initiative)

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access • adopter communities • Andrew W. Mellon Foundationarchivearchives • availability of scholarly communication • Coalition for Networked Information • content • Digital Library Federation • digital materials • dissemination of content • e-print • e-print archives • ePrint • evolutionary changes • interoperability standards • metadata • metadata harvesting • National Science Foundation • new and broader range of applications • OAI-ORE • OAI-PMHopenOpen Archives Initiative • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting • open protocols • opening up access • protocolprotocols • research documents • scope of applicability • structure and culture • technological framework • technological standards • underlying standards • underlying technology

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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