“Gateway to Global Culture” site launched
UNESCO, 02-08-2006 (Paris/Boston)
Global Memory Net, an online image library and gateway to cultural, historical, and heritage images around the world, has just been launched with a number of collections included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.
Developed since 2000 by Ching-chih Chen, information technology professor at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston, the project has benefitted from a grant from the International Digital Library Programme of the US National Science Foundation.
”Global Memory Net is my version of an integrated world digital image library or portal which is seamlessly linked to all relevant multimedia sources – audio files, videos, and texts, “says Chen, who has advocated the concept of the world digital library since 1993.
Global Memory Net’s innovative integrated multimedia content retrieval system (i-M-C-S) enables one to retrieve images not only by the traditional methods — such as through the metadata fields like author, title, keyword, and subject — but also through cutting-edge content-based image retrieval by color and shape from random access to the images. (this latter part is in collaboration with James Z. Wang of Penn State University.)
The other features of the I-M-C-S include multilingual and multi-collection searches; instant link from images to related videos and documents when available, as well as to world bibliographical resources such as OCLC’s World Cat and Internet resources such as Wikipedia, Google Scholar, Google Video, and Google Image, Internet Archives and Million Books; geographical access to over 2,400 world digital collections; and dynamically generated digital watermarks of zoomed images for the protection of intellectual properties of the content providers.
In addition to being a gateway to the world distributed digital libraries, Global Memory Net has its own rich digital image collections as well as those from UNESCO, Library of Congress and numerous national and academic institutions. But the core collection are those images and videos from Chen’s earlier interactive videodisc and multimedia CD entitled “The First Emperor of China”, which allows users to access information about China during the third century B.C. The U.S. National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) funded this project.
UNESCO’s collections available from Global Memory Net include the collective images of its Memory of the World. The UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme was established as a global framework for the protection and promotion of the documentary heritage, in any form, by raising awareness of the problems associated with its preservation and enabling access to content. The Register, which lends visibility and focus to memory preservation, currently lists 120 items from 57 countries judged to be of world significance.
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