The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Historic Preservation

Acquisition, Representation, and Remote Visualization of Digital Artifacts

Brent Seales
James Griffioen
Ken Calvert
Christopher Jaynes


National Science Foundation

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, UK Laboratory for Advanced Networking

NSF Grant Number:

NSF Disclaimer
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0535003

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Project Description:
The goal of this project is to research and develop high-quality, scalable, and reconfigurable acquisition and display systems for digital library collections accessed via the Internet. We are acquiring new digital collections at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and providing access to them through end-user displays that are scalable and reconfigurable. These displays cooperate with a remote model server to provide the highest possible display fidelity under the current network conditions. In order to allow the widespread acquisition and dissemination of digital collections, revolutionary advances in 3D model acquistion, content delivery, and display are required. To this end, we focus on the following research challenges:

* Acquisition: We provide new acquisition strategies designed to produce high-quality layered, image-based representations, 3-D shape descriptions, and multi-layerd data. These new strategies enable efficient access and high-resolution end-user display. hybrid representation of texture, shape, and metadata.

* Representation: We encode the acquired collection in a way that moves toward the features provided in the MPEG-4 multimedia standard. This encoding preserves the richness and fidelity of the data while achieving standardization for access, manipulation, and evolution of collections over time.

* Remote Access: We develop new techniques supporting distributed access to digital collections in a heterogeneous networked environment. These techniques are designed to satisfy access requirements across a spectrum that varies from very high-quality local display and low-latency interactive manipulation, to remote access over wide-area, potentially low bitrate links.

* Display: We develop new techniques for deploying scalable tiled projection displays for institutions and users who do not have access to sophisticated and dedicated technical support and high-cost hardware. These scalable display systems can be assembled from commodity hardware and provide automatic, continuous calibration, and rapid reconfigurability.

The motivation for this work stems from the need for high-quality preservation, access, and display techniques for digitized collections. Libraries, museums, and research scholars who want to acquire, manipulate, and provide remote access to (and high-definition display of)digitized artifacts need cost effective, non-intrusive, easily configurable methods for creating and viewing high-quality collections. New techniques are evaluated on real-world library collections with particular focus on the preservation and dissemination of artifacts at our partner institution, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. With the aid of expert consultants who contribute significant effort towards this project at our partner institution, we have developed and deployed a prototype system for acqusition and display using the techniques developed as part of this project. The resulting digital archive is being made accessible to patrons of the museum as well as a much larger audience around the world via the Internet.

We believe that this research will have significant immediate, medium-term and long-term impact. The immediate impact of the project is the development of new acquisition, access, and display methods that will be deployed and tested at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, making parts of their collections available in forms not previously possible. In the medium term, our new technical approaches are valuable not only to the digital library community, but also to other research, instructional, and commercial areas where configurable large-scale display systems are needed (e.g., classroom, research visualization centers, conference venues, etc). In the long term, we believe this proposed work has the potential to substantially impact the way people view and interact with data, whether the data is a collection of historical artifacts, a visual representation of a complex simulation, data/illustrations presenting in the classroom, etc. Moreover, the cost effectiveness of our approach means that it will be affordable to a wide range of users.

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