With the availability of video cameras, 3D scanners and high resolutiondisplay devices and virtual reality (VR) tools, the concept of a digitallibrary has expanded from traditional text-based systems to more general text,voice, digital image and video-based systems. For example, one can now acquireand view rare objects housed in a remote museum or take a virtual tour of amedieval castle or the Taj Mahal by combining synthetic and real digitalcontents with VR tools. By incorporating computer vision techniques, one canalso enhance the "telepresence" feeling of the viewer, making him/her appear tobe among the people visiting the museum.

Figure 6.1 illustrates the modules of a digital image and video library(DIVL). In such a system, digital content could be extracted from rare books,statues, and aesthetic architectures such as the Taj Mahal or the pyramids. Keycomponents involved in the creation, operation and usage of a DIVL areacquisition, cataloging, storage, retrieval, manipulation, user interfaces andsystem integration. Both in the United States and Japan, excellent examples ofongoing work in each of these areas can be found. For a description of relatedefforts in the United States, the reader is referred to summaries ofjust-completed efforts at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, theUniversity of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the University ofCalifornia, Santa Barbara and Carnegie Mellon University, under the sponsorshipof the Digital Library (DL) Initiative, supported by DARPA, NSF and NASA. Theseand other related efforts are summarized in several DL conferences and journalissues (DLII n.d., ACM 1997a, ACM 1997b, AAAI 1997, IEEE 1998).

This chapter summarizes the panel's observations of ongoing research andtechnology efforts in Japan in various areas relevant to DIVL. Specifically, itpresents an evaluation of what the panel observed in acquisition, cataloging,retrieval, and virtual reality presentations. Related efforts on electroniccommerce and networked DL are also presented. Most of these efforts are beingcarried out by industrial organizations that view multimedia as a keytechnology for the 21st century. Digital library oriented issues are beinginvestigated by universities and libraries planning to operate in the digitalmode. This chapter covers ongoing efforts in DIVL. Digital library relatedissues, text-based indexing, and search are covered in Chapter 5.

Fig. 6.1. Digital image video library.

Published: February 1999; WTECHyper-Librarian