KMi video technology meets Greenstone down under

KMi researcher Stefan Rüger has been invited as a Visiting Professor to the Digital Libraries research group at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, with a view to research and co-develop Video Digital Libraries.

The principal research output of the world-renowned Digital Libraries Research group is called Greenstone, which is an open source, multilingual digital library toolkit. Used out of the box it provides the ability to create collections of digital content, to display the content in a web browser and to access and search the collections that have been built. One of the main aims of the 4-month visit are to combine automated video processing modules with Greenstone so that Video Digital Libraries can be built, accessed and searched very easily. To this end, two other members of KMi’s MMIS group, Suzanne Little and Serge Zagorac, will also visit the university of Waikato, albeit for shorter periods.

Greenstone’s user base hails from 80 countries. It is downloaded 200 times/day, 70,000/year. Through UNESCO sponsorship the software is fully documented in English, French, Spanish, and Russian. In addition, its web interface has been translated into 55 languages by enthusiastic volunteers across the globe. Countless digital libraries have been built with Greenstone since its public release on SourceForge in 2000: from historic newspapers to books on humanitarian aid; from botanical information to curated first editions of works by Chopin; from scientific institutional repositories to personal collections of photos and other document formats. All manner of topics are covered: the black abolitionist movement, bridge construction, the history of the Indian working class, medical artwork, and shipping statistics are just a random selection.

This visit, funded by EPSRC, is a welcome opportunity to disseminate KMi’s automated video indexing and search technology through Greenstone; to collaborate with researchers from Waikato’s Digital Libraries Research group; to train core members of KMi in cutting-edge Digital Library technologies; to network with leading research groups in Australasia and, finally, for Stefan Rüger to start writing a monograph on Multimedia Digital Libraries.

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