News

Fast Company highlights Project Recollection

Tim Carmody of Fast Company magazine introduces Project Recollection to a broader audience in the article “Recollection: A Collaborative Tool For Sharing And Visualizing Cultural Data” (8 June 2011).  His overview of the system, which Zepheira is developing in partnership with the U.S. Library of Congress, has the following subtitle:

A new service from the Library of Congress lets you build maps, graphs, timelines, and trees from the collective digital and digitized history of an entire nation.

Carmody discusses the usefulness of Recollection for digital preservation, archiving and education, summarizing its benefits.

The idea behind Recollection is simple: it allows the LoC and its cultural heritage partner institutions to easily pool and visualize their collections. What was a giant, unwieldy database can be easily transformed into an interactive timeline, map, tag cloud, or a range of other highly readable interfaces. Then you can embed the tool back into your own organization’s site. Think of it as a kind of YouTube for museums (or amateur historians).

Tagged: , , , , , , , |

Eric Miller to give invited Linked Data talk at 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference

The Library of Congress’ Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) has invited Eric Miller to speak on Linked Data and Libraries at the annual American Library Association ALA Conference in New Orleans, LA. on Sunday June 26. The Program for Cooperative Cataloging and its membership focus on timely and quality collaborative creation of bibliographic and authority records.

Eric’s presentation will provide an overview of Linked Data, highlight several relevant, practical examples of this work currently underway in the library, museum and digital preservation communities. This talk will further discuss several practical areas where libraries and cooperative cataloging practices can further be accelerated by Linked Data principals. By exposing bibliographic and authority records as ‘Web control points’, libraries are well positioned to enable greater collaboration in both traditional and non-traditional communities as well as providing new means for users to navigate, discover and access quality information in a Web of data.

Tagged: , , , |

Library of Congress Hosting Recollection Workshop on 19 April

The NDIIPP Program at the Library of Congress will be hosting a free online workshop for digital preservation partners next Tuesday, April 19th at 1ET. Trevor Owens will demonstrate how preservation partners can use this free Library of Congress-sponsored software to easily create intuitive interfaces to their digital collections.

Details and registration information

Tagged: , , , , , , |

Zepheira and Partners to speak at 2011 Semantic Technology Conference

Zepheira team members and partners will be speaking at the 2011 Semantic Technology Conference to be held in San Francisco June 5-9.

Talks will highlight practical applications of linked data technologies in collaboration with the Library of Congress and MIT:

Closing Keynote: Semantic Technology at the Library of Congress: Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Information Officer for the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is utilizing linked data and semantic technologies in several current projects including Project Recollection and it’s Digital Preservation Initiative. Laura Campbell, CIO of the LoC, will describe these efforts and the reasons for choosing to enable them with semantics.

Presentation: Exhibit3: Publishing Framework for Large Scale Data-Rich Interactive Web Pages: MacKenzie Smith, Research Director at MIT Libraries and Eric Miller, President of Zepheira

In January 2011, MIT and Zepheira began work on Exhibit 3.0, a new project funded by the Library of Congress to redevelop the popular Exhibit tool from the MIT Simile Project. Exhibit was originally developed as an ambitious collaboration of the MIT Libraries, the MIT CSAIL, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to explore applications of the Semantic Web to problems of information management across both large-scale digital libraries and small-scale personal collections. This presentation will discuss the new architecture and features, highlight work done to date, demonstrate some of Exhibit 3.0 capabilities and gather input from the audience on how to build interest and involvement from the community in this work.

Presentation: Recollection: A Linked Data Platform of America’s Memory Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist at the Library of Congress and Eric Miller, President of Zepheira

The mission of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) is to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations. In 2008, the NDIIPP partners shared content through a simple web page. In order to explore more useful tools and processes for sharing diverse content across partners’ collections, the Library began the Project Recollection Pilot in 2009 with Zepheira to develop a proof of concept that can be used to collect and explore information about digital collections. This presentation will discuss the architecture and features of the Recollection platform, highlight work done to date, discuss future directions of this work and gather input from the audience on how to build interest and involvement from the community.

For more information on times and locations of these sessions visit the 2011 Semantic Technology Conference Agenda at a Glance

Tagged: , , , , , , , , |

Announcing Zepheira’s Charitable Giving Program

We are pleased to announce the start of Zepheira’s charitable giving program, an ongoing corporate effort that grew out of our shared desire to be part of building a better world. At its inception, our program includes regular financial support for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, global responders to natural disasters, epidemics, and conflicts with skilled medical care, and Partners in Health, long term health care providers for high risk populations in the poorest parts of the world. We are also dedicating our spare computational resources to the Folding@home distributed computing project, working towards medical cures through increased scientific understanding of diseases. We will continue to evolve our program and document its progress through our charitable program site.

As a corporation merging business goals with a devotion to bettering our world, we are interested in hearing new ideas on how to travel in both realms and in locating partners to travel them with. Contact us at charity@zepheira.com if you’d like to talk.

Tagged: , , , , , , , |

Zepheira Case Study: Recollection: Serving Local Preservation Partner Needs through a National Linked Data Platform: Part 2

The Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program works to catalyze and sustain a national network of digital preservation partners. From the beginning of the project one of the key ideas has been that the partnership, now with 185 partner organizations across 45 states, needed to work toward a distributed architecture. To that end, NDIIPP has worked with its’ partners to connect different platforms for storage and verification, data and metadata management, and access and discovery of preserved digital materials.

This national network of partners has already preserved a substantial amount of our digital cultural heritage, including among other things; geospatial information, web sites, audio visual productions, images and text, and materials related to critical public policy issues. As this set of preserved materials continues to grow it has become all the more apparent that we need tools that provide ways for users to discover and access those distributed collections.

To this end, NDIIPP has collaborated with Zepheira to create Recollection (Update: now Viewshare), a free platform for generating and customizing views, (interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allow NDIIPP partners and their users to better explore and understand these growing digital collections.

Read Part 2 of the case study which describes the way in which Recollection supports the NDIIPP community and the future role Recollection will serve in the Library’s digital preservation strategy.

For more, read Part 1 of the case study which describes the Recollection platform and its use of linked data principles to empower curators of digital content.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , |

Zepheira Case Study: Recollection – A Linked Data Platform of Digital Collections: Part 1

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress is an initiative to develop a national strategy to collect, archive and preserve the burgeoning amounts of digital content for current and future generations. It is based on an understanding that digital stewardship on a national scale depends on active cooperation between communities. The NDIIPP network of partners have collected a diverse array of digital content, including social science data-sets, geospatial information, Web sites and blogs, e-journals, audiovisual materials, and digital government records.

In 2008, the NDIIPP partners shared content through a simple static web page constructed manually by Library staff. In order to explore more dynamic and useful tools and processes for sharing their collections of diverse content, the Library began a pilot project in 2009 with Zepheira. The result is a software platform called Recollection (Update: now known as Viewshare).

Read Part 1 of the case study which describes the Recollection platform and its use of linked data principles to empower curators of digital content.

For more read Part 2 of the case study which describes the way in which Recollection supports the NDIIPP community and the future role Recollection will serve in the Library’s digital preservation strategy.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , |

Zepheira to serve on National Center for Biomedical Ontology Scientific Advisory Board

The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is an international consortium of world-class researchers committed to improving human health by developing technology and infrastructure that accelerates biomedical discovery. The goal of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology is to support biomedical researchers in their knowledge-intensive work, by providing online tools and a Web portal enabling them to access, review, and integrate disparate ontological resources in all aspects of biomedical investigation and clinical practice. A major focus of our work involves the use of biomedical ontologies to aid in the management and analysis of data derived from complex experiments.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board to The National Center for Biomedical Ontology are Jill P. Mesirov from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Olivier Bodenreider from National Library of Medicine, Rex Chisholm from Northwestern University Medical School, Charles P. Friedman from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Stanley Huff from Intermountain Healthcare, Eric Miller from Zepheira, Alan L. Rector from The University of Manchester and Bedirhan Üstün from World Health Organization.

Tagged: , , , |

Akara Presentation Coming at XML Prague

Zepheira partner Uche Ogbuji will be presenting the Akara open source project to XML technology professionals at 2011 XML Prague.  The presentation “Akara – Spicy Bean Fritters and XML Data Services” will provide a technical overview of the project, which has been used in Zepheira work with the US Library of Congress, MIT, Sun Microsystems and much more.  To quote from the abstract:

Akara is a platform for developing data services, and especially XML data services, available on the Web, using REST architecture. It is open source software written in Python and C. An important concept in Akara is information pipelining, where discrete services can be combined and chained together, including services hosted remotely. There is strong support for pipeline stages for XML processing, as Akara includes a port of the well-known 4Suite and Amara XML processing components for Python. The version of Amara in Akara provides optimized XML processing using common XML standards as well as fresh ideas for expressing XML pattern processing, based on long experience in standards-based XML applications. Some of these features include XPath and XSLT, a lightweight, dynamic data binding mechanism, XML modeling and processing constraints by example (using Examplotron), Schematron assertions, XPath-driven streamable processing and overall low-level support for lazy iterator processing, and thus the map/reduce style. Akara does not enforce a built-in mechanism for persistence of XML, but is designed to complete a low-level persistence engine with overall characteristics of an XML DBMS.

Registration for XML Prague is sold out, but the conference is well known for the quality of its free online video access for those interested.  Details will be posted on the site as the date approaches.

Tagged: , , , |

Zepheira moves Akara open source project to GitHub

Zepheira has recently asserted leadership in the Akara open source project, which is a key component of many of its broader strategic initiatives.  In order to help support efficient collaboration on the project Zepheira has moved it to the GitHub service.

Akara is a platform for developing data services, especially XML data services, and making them available on the Web, using REST architecture. It is open source software written in Python and C.  Akara is an umbrella project that includes Amara, a Python XML processing library based on the mature but now obsolete 4Suite XML library, enhanced for performance and modernized API.  Amara implements common XML standards while implementing many fresh ideas for expressing XML pattern processing. Some of these features include XPath and XSLT, a lightweight, dynamic data binding mechanism, XML modeling and processing constraints by example (using Examplotron), Schematron assertions, XPath-driven streamable processing and overall low-level support for lazy iterator processing, and thus the map/reduce style.

Please see the Akara project on GitHub, as well as the Amara project, which is separated for developer/packager convenience.  Find many other of Zepheira’s contributions to open source on the organization’s GitHub profile.

Tagged: , , , , , |