Paper presented at the ICOM International Conference in Barcelona on 3 July 2001.
Structuralizing Multimedia Data in Museums.
The Use of Internet and Video and Scanned 3D Objects for Our Natural History and
Eduardo A. Ramirez, PhD, Bergen Museum, NORWAY.
The rapid advance of new technologies in multimedia have offered heritage new
hope against the process of pollution, looting, conflict and even tourism. These
has become increasingly important in the conservation, preservation, and
interpretation of natural history. Scientific videos and 3D exhibits allow us to
discover and explore in great detail this natural history assets in a
non-destructive ways. Nonetheless, video and 3D scanners are at is infancy and
just few organizations have access to those technologies. Here also we would like
to propose the sharing of large and expensive resources like video server and 3D
In this presentation I would like to share with you some of our experiences in
relation to producing video recordings for our Zoological Department at our
We have taken video recordings of Myrriapoda (millipedes) through the microscope
both in preparation preserved in alcohol and in living species for it
interpretation on the scientific community of Myriapodist.
Video recordings were captured through a CCD video camera attached to a Leica
stereo microscope equipment, and recorded digitally. Digital video has been
edited and converted to digital format suitable to video streaming formats for
these video "on-demand" exhibits.
Our primary goal has been to develop the methods and tools for the creating
"on-demand" of natural history museum assets, in our case, the Millipedes, or
any other species of interest. Our museum has 40000 of these species preserved
in alcohol and its access is difficult.
Our Museum is currently using the videos for implementing an IT based catalogue
of museum objects trying to structuralizing these scientific videos and designing
a data collection also for scanned 3D objects.In collaboration with the Computer
Science Department, University of Malaga, Spain, is been proposed a model or
structuralizing the scientific videos is being proposed based on the Extensible
Markup Language XML. This brings us to the basics by asking d document creators
to introduce enough clues, or structure, in the document so that an automatic
process can read what the document or a section of it is about. This metadata
approach allow more advanced systems to know more about the document much better that
today's automatic techniques can do.
Video data is stored using organizations principles, like other data. In our
project we would like to organize data in a more carefully way because of its
time-serial nature and its enormous size. Another difficulty is that current
metadata for video images and other similar sources is more about the data than
about its semantic content. In our project we would like to develop techniques
for introducing the semantic partitioning of video, audio, and images. In the
lasts years, it has been spent considerable effort on developing automatic
techniques for video and audio segmentation and for indexing images based on
some basic characteristics such as colour, and texture. These techniques are
very useful and will surely change the way we will organize multimedia data in
the future. However, we still need to organize multimedia data today, and the
current automatic techniques for semantic partitioning are even more basic that
those for text. The only solution and its will be one goal of our project is to
attempt to develop more powerful approaches for structuralizing multimedia data.
In summary, I present here some of the basic questions that we would like to
1) How can we start introducing some semantic metadata while creating scientific
2) What dictionary will we use for this VXML or Visual Extensible Marking
3) How far will the emerging standards like MPEG-7 go in this direction?
Because we don't have the answers yet, I think this could be a very interesting
research direction in benefit to our Museum collections and virtual exhibits
Many thanks for you attention.
Bergen Museum, Documentation and IT Dept., Univ. of Bergen at ICOM 19th Conference, Barcelona, SPAIN.
This proposal is primarily addressed to : ICOM Reform Task Force, Barcelona,
Spain, 1-6 July, 2001.
From : Dr. Eduardo A. Ramirez, Bergen Museum, Documentation and IT Dept.,
University of Bergen, NORWAY.
"SHARING OF LARGE SCALE RESOURCES, THAT OTHERWISE, MUSEUMS COULD NOT AFFORD"
Proposal for the creation of "ICOM - Common Joint Resource Centres (CJRC)",
housing advanced Visualisation and Broadcasting equipment, and Scientific
Instruments for the benefit of Museums world-wide.
To propose a new model for funding and administrate large scale resources (e.g.
Multimedia- visualisation, etc ) that might be necessary for taking our Museums
into the New Millennium. Here are included those museum activities that require
large funding due to the high-tech production cost, professional skill needed,
and with a high risk of technical implementation failure. Adding to those
factors, a possible limited public to justify the investments.
The progress of multimedia, computer visualisation, and scientific equipment are
making possible for some Museums to perform specific tasks that never before were
possible e.g. computer animation and VRML in restoration and reconstruction work.
For the rest of Museums world-wide, a simple 3D scanning of an object, might have
prohibited costs. Moreover, professionals that operate these services and
installations are also in great demand and their expertise requires continuously
The objective of this proposal is to put forward to ICOM RTF the creation of
"ICOM- Common Joint Resource Centres (CJRC)" that could be co-ordinated under our
International Committee of Museums ICOM. The intention is to share large scale
specialised resources that are of central importance for preserving, exhibit,
broadcast, our cultural and natural Heritage locally and world-wide, and in view
the global reality of increasing restricted governmental funding for preserving
and exhibit these cultural and natural heritages.
Another spin-off effect of this proposed model of organisation (ICOM-CJRC), could
it be in the negotiations of special services required at our museums, like:
equipment-leasing, software licensing, service contracts agreements, upgrading,
purchase discounts, in advance technology and software for Museums commencing the
4.1) Test Pilot Offer:
Our University Museum, this year, has acquired a multimedia server (Silicon
Graphics SGI Onyx 3800). We have allocated Hard Disk space to ICOM-RTF for the
purpose of testing Digital Video Broadcasting directly from this video server in
Bergen. This service could be expanded to connect other digital resources and
server's world-wide to form a CLUSTER of digital power, with the intention to
best serve ICOM goals, and therefore, museums internationally.
We look forward to hearing from you !
Copyright © Eduardo A. Ramirez 2001.
All rights reserved.