All posts by Marcin Mielnicki

Public release of (part of) Clepsydra framework

We’re happy to announce the public release of part of Clepsydra, data aggregation and enrichment framework. It is released under the Apache Licence, Version 2.0.

Clepsydra is a flexible and scalable system for aggregation, processing and provisioning of data from heterogeneous sources. It was designed and developed to be a basis for services focused on aggregation and enrichment of data, e.g. metadata describing on-line collections of cultural heritage objects from Polish memory institutions. The first production deployment of this system is the PIONIER Network Digital Libraries Federation. Clepsydra is developed as a part of PSNC activities in the SYNAT project.

This first release of Clepsydra contains one component, Clepsydra Storage, which main aim is to serve as a flexible and scalable service allowing storing and accessing large amounts of heterogeneous data.

Installation instruction, documentation and source code for Clepsydra Storage module can be found here.

First Europeana hackaton

On the 2nd and 3rd of March in Hilversum (Netherlands) first hackaton organized by Europeana took place. Hackaton is an informal workshop to show (in this case) possibilities of Europeana API usage. During two days developers had opportunity to create an interesting projects – sketches, prototypes or even complete applications. Workshop was held in the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Beeld en Geluid).

Europeana OpenSearch API allows to build applications that can search and display Europeana collections metadata. You can search for objects and filter search results using any metadata fields. For each element from search result you can get full metadata record in a ESE format.

Projects focused on such themes as CMS integration, data visualization or web feeds. Marcin Mielnicki from PSNC build a service that provides Media RSS feed generated from search query. It can be used to present search results using, for example, Coolisis media browser. The meeting ended with a presentation of ideas and prototypes and the best of them were awarded. Outcomes are for for non-commercial usage and will be promoted by Europeana.

Here are photos from the meeting.

New data model for Europeana

Europeana announced that the Europeana Data Model (EDM) has just been published. It is a new way of structuring the data that Europeana will be ingesting, managing and publishing. The EDM is a major improvement on the Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE), the basic data model used from the beginning of Europeana.

The new data model has been developed by members of Europeana v1.0, EuropeanaConnect and experts from academic and cultural circles. Also, the EDM has been validated by technical specialists at libraries, museums, archives and audio-visual collections. However, the data model is still under development and it will be refined until the end of 2010. The EDM is compatible with the ESE and no data will need to be resubmitted.

Detailed information can be found in the EDM Primer and Definition of the EDM Elements.

If you are interested in the new data model, you can consider participation in two free of charge events: the Europeana Open Culture Conference (14-15 Oct, Amsterdam) and Europeana Day (19 Oct, Poznań).

European libraries and Google cooperate in digitization

Google supports more and more activities in digitization of cultural heritage. Since the beginning of this year, Google announced agreements under which the collections of Europe’s largest libraries will be digitized and made available via Google Books.

An agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage was announced in March. It covers cooperation with the National Libraries of Florence and Rome in order to digitize up tu million out-of-copyright works.

Next was an agreement with the Austrian National Library to digitize up to 400 000 public domain books. These include works from Poland, since this library has about 1800 Polish titles.

In July, Google announced an agreement with National Library of the Netherland, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Google will scan more than 160 000 public domain books.

In all cases the librarians will select works for digitization. Google will digitize these books and make theme available via Google Books. They will be available for anyone in the world with connection to the Internet. It is important that libraries will receive copies of the scans. Thanks to this digital copies can be made available via library web pages and archived for long term. In addition the digital books will be available via Europeana.

GeeCON 2010 is over

On 13-14 of May 2010 an international conference GeeCON was held. Second edition of the event devoted to the Java language and Java Virtual Machine based technologies this time took place in Poznań, at the Multikino 51 cinema.

It was organized by GiK Association, Polish Java User Group, Poznań Java User Group in cooperation with the city of Poznań, Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center and Adam Mickiewicz Uniwersity. During two days of meetings the event gathered around 450 participants from all over the world.

The conference was opened by Thorbiörn Fritzon in lecture  “The Future of Java”. Information about the future of Java was awaited especially after Oracle acquisition of Sun. Then almost 40 lectures was stared in three simultaneous sessions. Dalibor Topic show status of works on JDK 7. Bruno Bossola was convincing us to true object oriented programming and Dawid Weiss presented how fast is Java and how it can be speeded up. There were also practical demonstrations. Hans Dockter showed capabilities of Gradle, a build system. Andres Almiray presented process of creating desktop application with Griffon framework.

Presentations are available on the conference website.

A new way to access the OAIster database

OCLC has announced that a freely accessible site for searching only OAIster records is available.
Currently OAIster gives access to 23 million records contributed by more than 1100 organizations worldwide.
In OAIster database you can find 220 000 digital objects form Poland. Most of resources is from the biggest and most popular digital libraries. Besides them you can search records from services addressed to small group of specialists. This includes journals from Polish universities (Institute of Physics Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Transport Silesian University of Technology) and other scientific institutions (Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences,
Geological Society of Poland), which you won’t find in digital libraries. Interesting are resources from medical publishing houses and National Bank of Poland.
If you want to increase visibility of your digital resources you can contribute metadata to OAIster. Instructions can be found at this site.

Iławska Digital Library

Iławska Biblioteka Cyfrowa (IBC), run by the Municipal Public Library of Iława (Poland), was recently made available on-line. IBC aims to build an open digital collection of materials concerning the Iława district. These are mostly articles from local and national magazines and books, manuscripts, maps, postcards or photos. Currently available are more than 800 objects, divided into three main collections: “Articles from national magazines,” “Articles from regional magazines” and “Books”. Thanks to the agreement with several publishers, the IBC can publish for free digital copies of articles from regional newspapers.

Iławska Digital Library is another local digital library, similar to Nowohucka Digital Library and Digital Library of Wejherowo. It is worth to take care of the visibility on the web in case of such  small digital libraries. Presented resources are unique and strongly connected with local themes. Therefore, it is difficult to find them for users who have no awareness of the existence of such library. It is much easier to find large digital libraries, such as the WBC or KPBC, because they publish not only local material but also materials generally related and important to Polish or European culture.