Digital Archives: Preserving Cultural
Experience and Enabling Long Time Learning
Siemens AG. Österreich (A)
The greatest part of knowledge of mankind in the terms of text, data,
graphics, audio or video is mostly stored in analog recorded archives and
administrated by different institutions on separated locations.
Digitalization and the integrated storage of information on data memories
controlled by powerful computer systems enforced the possibility to reproduce
interconnected cultural supplies at any time. The progress of information
technology and the development of the brand new archiving application software
running on standard computer hard and software reduces the necessary space
in conventional archiving areas, the searching time for the content and
the administration costs.
The stored cultural experience of many generations in historical archives
has always been exposed to the danger of data loss, to the aging of data
material and the reduction of quality by the copying process to keep the
consistancy of information.
For the reproduction of multimedia information by direct access, a set
of retrieval methods and tools is now available. Through these intelligent
new archiving tools an important basis is activated to realize real interactive
multimedia solutions for stand alone or network usage.
The automatization of the refreshment process in digital archives guarantees
a high quality long time access to information by networking everywhere,
at any time, by everyone.
If the content of the different media is prepared by the annotation
of scenes and events the information can be used via user applications
for learning and teaching processes or for the creation of new content
for information providers in multimedia networks such as Internet.
By means of these technologies, stored knowledge achieves an important
historical dimension by generating the possibility to preserve high quality
originals of information as a cultural reflection of history for future
All these described features and functions are realized in the CARAT
ARC system of Siemens Austria, which - after an exciting start last year
- has proved its practicability in many projects worldwide. The software
is designed as an open system and can be connected for special applications
with many other existing multimedia tools in interactive multimedia networks.