This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.
Demonstrator Title: Reusing, cropping and referencing digital images
Summary: It's not enough to simply discover relevant digital content -- scholars need to be able to re-purpose and manipulate digital resources (including derivatives and representations of resources), making use of repository-independent tools and being able to reference resources used via persistent URIs and in accord with bibliographic citation standards. This requires that content providers describe and make digital resources available in accord with standards that support interoperability and integration. It requires tool builders to construct tools that can ingest resources without regard to brand or location of repository and can generate output and new derivatives that persist and are themselves referenceable. Additionally, while newer tools and repositories are more sensitive to the need for integration and conformance to emerging standards, additional services and frameworks are needed to glue everything together more seamlessly, which is where Bamboo might come in. This demonstrator focuses on exploitation of digital image resources using a simple Djatoka-based Web application. Djatoka is a robust, repository-independent image manipulation tool through which users and other applications can transform and manipulate Web-addressable digital image resources and create new cropped, rotated, and re-sized derivative image resources with persistent identifiers. The illustration scenario used hints at the potential benefits to be realized when quality digital content and tools like Djatoka are integrated in support of scholarship, but it also highlights the clusimness of current methods used to integrate digital content and tools.
Applicability: This demonstrator is applicable to domains that exploit high-quality digital images which in the course of scholarly use may need to be transformed across image formats, rotated, cropped, and/or presented at multiple resolutions. It anticipates that scholars value an ability to work across disparate discovery portal services and content repositories using repository-independent image and bibliographic tools. It also assumes that such infrastructure components are designed and maintained separately without specific knowledge of each other -- i.e., with a reliance on the Web architecture and complementary standards and best practices. It assumes a requirement for persistent reference to both original sources and generated derivatives. In terms of scholarly practice, it focuses on scholarly activities to do with selecting, manipulating, reusing, and referencing information resources (all supporting the intellectual activities of interpretation and synthesis).
Links: The following resources, tools, standards, and protocols were exploited in creating this demonstrator:
OAI-ORE (a pre-release alpha draft was used)
DLF Asset Action semantics for typing resource representation URIs
American Social History Online (a metadata-based portal created as part of DLF Aquifer)
Content from the Library of Congress Panoramic Photographs Collection
Djatoka - an open source image-manipulation tool developed by Los Alamos (Ryan Chute and Herbert Van de Sompel)
And in particular an image-cropping application built on top of Djatoka
Among other technologies, Djatoka builds on the OpenURL standard.
Presentation: The simplified, contrived scenario used in this demonstrator postulates a student doing research for a paper which will include a discussion of the tragic 1903 fire which destroyed the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, killed 600 individuals, and resulted in the closing of all theaters in Chicago for a period of time. Through the Digital Library Federation's American Social History Online portal, the student discovers a high-quality digital version of a photo taken the day after the fire. The student wants not only to reference the photo in his research paper (the photo is owned and was digitized by the Library of Congress), he also wants to manipulate the high-resolution, uncompressed TIFF image file to crop and zoom in on a specific region of the photograph to include in his paper. He wants to be able to provide URIs for both the cropped region of the photograph (i.e., the image fragment) he creates and for the source Library of Congress image from which the image fragment he puts in his paper was derived. He does not have on his desktop any software that can manipulate the original TIFF, nor does he have a Web server at hand on which he could mount the generated image fragment, even if he could create it on his own. By exploiting the technologies mentioned above and by some mildly tedious manual cutting and pasting, the student is able to achieve the desired end-result; however, clearly the process could be more seamless and more automated. A five and a half minute video clip has been created showing how the student might go about his task using currently available technology and content. Formats:
For Windows Media Player (.wmv, 8 MBs, embedded player)
For QuickTime Player (.mov, 12 MBs, embedded player)
For Real Media Player (rtsp://images.library.uiuc.edu/ProjectBamboo/rv-DjatokaImageCrop.rv) (.rv, 9 MBs, streaming)
Discussion: Notice from the video that the student does not have to handle the TIFF file directly -- interaction is between the Library of Congress repository and the Djatoka-based image manipulation application bypasses the student's desktop once initiated. Notice in fact that the student does not even have to visit the Library of Congress Website himself -- in this instance, sufficient information to support the required interaction and referencing tasks is already present in the DLF American Social History Online portal. The Djatoka-based application not only allows the student to manipulate the TIFF image and create desired derivative using simply a standard Web browser, it can also be configured (through caching) to serve as a de facto repository for this new digital artifact (depending on local service implementation policy).
However, while the made-up scenario outlined above can be demonstrated today for a selection of digital content on the Web, a lot of things have to work just right. Many digital content providers do not provide asset action URIs (or the equivalent) pointing to best resolution image files they hold, or do not disseminate same in an OAI-ORE Resource Map. Nor is most digital content described by rich, MODS bibliographic records (facilitating reference in accord with bibliographic standards). The Zotero translator used in this illustration is custom, experimental and not in wide circulation. And while the Djatoka tool as available for download from Los Alamos is quite robust and can do much more than just crop and zoom, it may be useful to create additional service wrappers to help integrate this tool into additional scholarly workflows. In particular, there seems good potential for benefit by implementing a service layer for batch processing of aggregations or collections of images using Djatoka. Additional standards and best practices are needed to encourage more scholarly high-level exploitation, manipulation, and re-use of digital images.
This is where Bamboo could come in. The scenario illustrated here suggests that: