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Bringing Order to Graphics Resources

The pictures on the WWW mostly come about because of their association to text and their use in adding interest or aiding explanation. It is likely that there will be more and more resources of a graphical nature which are stored for their own sakes, perhaps associated with linked text, but maybe simply as resources for inclusion in other documents, such as teaching materials. It is essential that if these resources are going to be useful they need to be indexed to allow them to be found.

 

Images can be associated with keywords, but often the requirement for the search is more complex than at the keyword level all the pictures with meadows on sunny days might be accessible by keyword but what about all the images with a certain shade of blue, or with objects that look like "this".

 

Metadata to allow searching and access across resources is also needed and again the needs of graphical data are more complex than those of textual data.

 

Much of this work is at the research level still but there is a real requirement to deliver suitable technology soon.

 

A workshop is being organised by the Coalition for Network Information on the indexing and metadata needs for images (where these are defined a still raster images) in September 1996. See:

 

http://www.cni.org/CNI.homepage.html

 

 

There are also archiving issues. There is a need for service providers to archive material at the highest possible quality and to see archiving and delivery formats as being separate. We can store at high quality and send an adequate copy of an image across the network.

 

An initiative between the commercial sector and the education sector called the "Knowledge Gallery" has been launched in the UK recently. This aims to provide an interface to image related data which are distributed. It will face the many challenges outlined in this report.