First Google, now Amazon. The online book sellers are now offering a new business model that allows universities to digitise their books and get a share of income when Amazon sells them as print on demand.
Another interesting alternative to the model developed by Google. It will be worthwhile seeing how this pans out.
The JISC Digitisation Conference is due to get underway this week, in Cardiff
Among the speakers are Pat Manson (Head of Cultural Heritage and Technology Enhanced Learning, European Commission), Richard Ovenden (Assistant Director, Bodleian Library, Oxford University) and Mike Keller (University Librarian, Stanford University)
In June I gave a presentation on Digitisation Infrastructure at the UCL Summer School of publishing e-content.
The presentation looked at some of the key capabilities that are required, whether at a campus-wide, regional or national level to make sure that digitisation happens effectively, as rapidly as possible and offers value for money in the medium and long term. Some of the key ingredients were:
- A variety of data capture facilities / digitisation bureaus
- Internationally agreed file formats, preferably non-proprietary
- International co-ordination, certification, co-operation to develop international schema and vocabularies
- A range of mechanisms for delivering data, working to sustainable technical and financial models
- Long-term preservation facilities
- Staff and expertise to provide these services and the essential research and development
The full presentation can be seen here
Despite years of everyone emphasising the importance of open standards, the attractions of propietary standards like Flash are hard to resist for some projects
Two main reasons. 1. Most (but not all) people have Flash on their desktops. 2. Flash allows you to do funky things that would be impossible otherwise
YouTube is the most obvious example. Despite its poor quality, the YouTube platform has now established Flash as the way of delivering video.
In the cultural heritage business, two other recent projects have unveiled Flash based resources. One is the Rome Reborn reconstruction of classical Rome. The other is the 9.9 gigabtye image of Andrea Pozzo’s ceiling fresco from 17th-century Rome.
Impressive now, of course. But will these resources be around in five years’ time?