Google Digitization Initiative
The recent announcement of Google’s agreements with a number of leading research libraries has captured the imagination of the public and the press; this session will both try to clarify the specific efforts to be undertaken as part of these agreements, but will also consider broader questions about large-scale digitization efforts and the future of research libraries, as well as the ways in which institutional strategies and decision-making processes are adapting to these unprecedented opportunities. All of the libraries who have announced agreements with Google — Harvard, The New York Public Library, Oxford, Stanford and the University of Michigan — willl be represented. CNI Director Clifford Lynch will moderate the panel, which will include time for audience questions.
Reginald Carr, Oxford University
David Ferriero, New York Public Library
Dale Flecker, Harvard University
Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information
Catherine Tierney, Stanford University
John Price Wilkin, University of Michigan
Google Press Release
Oxford-Google Digitization Programme
NYPL Partners with Google
Harvard University Library News
Stanford University and Google Mass Digitization Project
Google/U-M Project Press Release
A Collaborative 3D Virtual Learning Environment
Julian Lombardi, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mark McCahill, University of Minnesota
Suppose we wanted to share virtual working models of the ideas and physical phenomena we study and write about, without starting from scratch to build each model. What would happen if teams of researchers and students could collaboratively experiment with these dynamic models and build on each others’ work? Suppose networked information systems moved beyond web pages, and treated models and immersive simulations as rich media along with text, graphics, video, and sound. The environment we are describing is what Croquet is designed to provide: an open source software system for creating collaborative learning environments. Croquet combines easy to use object/artifact creation and annotation with a digital repository and state of the art 3D graphics and sound to provide a powerful environment for explaining and exploring complex concepts.
In Croquet, groups of users interact and modify the spaces/simulations in real time while communicating with each other via text, audio, and video chat. By providing a common set of tools for synchronizing and coordinating the shared virtual environment, Croquet simplifies creation and sharing of interactive research/learning systems. This forms the basis for a cross disciplinary simulation publishing platform that allows researchers to spend time on their unique content instead of reinventing the collaborative framework. Incorporating a digital repository infrastructure, Croquet spaces and artifacts can be queried, searched, and re-used in new contexts, minimizing the cost of authoring content. Croquet moves networked information systems into a new realm where advanced visualization and computer mediated collaboration are a standard part of the learning environment.