Images as Data – STEM and heritage science data linked to IIIF - RDA 11th Plenary BoF meeting

BoF Meeting title

Images as Data – STEM and heritage science data linked to IIIF (Remote Access Instructions)

Collaborative session notes:

Short introduction describing the scope of the group and if any previous activities

The field of heritage science is a multi-disciplinary field drawing scientists from a diverse range of fields – chemists, physicists, material scientists, engineers, archeologists, to name a few. This clearly integrates with STEM practitioners and shows the close links between STEM and heritage science. Scientific analyses on cultural heritage materials can be linked back to a visual rendering of the heritage object – images as data. Discussions within working groups of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) exposed the need to use and expand the framework to include scientific data, from a range of STEM disciplines, as well as the more integrated example of heritage data. The STEM community could make scientific data and datasets available to a broader user base thorough structured linked images as data. The United States and Europe have initiatives to move forward with shared open data, especially in regards to broader and easier dissemination for diverse user groups – scientists, researchers, academia and the public. The purpose of this proposed BoF meeting is to examine how existing scientific images and linked data within both heritage science and RDA STEM group projects can make use of, contribute to and be integrated with the IIIF structure. Addressing the current capabilities of heritage images and linked data for expansion into other STEM disciplines will form the scope of the discussion around heritage science, to determine how this visualization may already be represented or developed within existing RDA interest and working groups, and establish if an additional RDA group might be required.

Additional links to informative material related to the group

IIIF is used widely in a range of United States and European initiatives. ( IIIIF provides access to image-based resources is fundamental to research, scholarship and the transmission of cultural knowledge and is comprised of a growing community of the world’s leading research libraries and image repositories have embarked on an effort to collaboratively produce an interoperable technology and community framework for image delivery. IIIF has the following goals:
• To give scholars an unprecedented level of uniform and rich access to image-based resources hosted around the world; to define a set of common application programming interfaces that support interoperability between image repositories; and tTo develop, cultivate and document shared technologies, such as image servers and web clients that provide a world-class user experience in viewing, comparing, manipulating and annotating images.
It would benefit integrate heritage science to be able to represent data as images using established formats for linking data, sharing and access. The IIIF consortium is global Institutions in the United States including Stanford University, Yale University, Harvard University, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Getty Conservation Institute, Harvard (amongt others) currently use IIIF but apart from a few specific projects, have not expanded the framework to link scientific and heritage data through images. Current EU initiatives using IIIF include Europeana , CENDARI (Collaborative European Digital Archival Research Infrastructure, and DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and the Humanities, and other large academic and scholarly networks have immense image sets to provide access to cultural heritage materials. Utilizing the established structured IIIF network to redefine and expand images to “images as data” will contribute to greater access to heritage science and by extension STEM data. Building upon a widely used framework such as IIIF allows interoperability and sharing between collections, enabling researchers and users to compare and link not just images, but data about the materials and creation of cultural heritage materials. This can then allow seamless access to all the available information related to a given object through the link and annotation on the IIIF canvas of the image. Reducing the gap between the humanities and scientific aspects of cultural heritage can foster the engagement of cultural heritage and STEM scholarly communities within the digital realm, creating a more accessible and interoperable digital library of images and data.

Meeting objectives

- Presentation and discussion of the way that the images as data initiative using the IIIF canvas could move forward in collaboration with RDA partners and interest groups
- Discussion of advantages, issues, challenges and opportunities of what has currently been developed, and the needs of interested STEM user groups
- Sharing of current heritage science and STEM image data initiatives
- Identification of interested and additional partners to expand and engage a broader more diverse audience
- Engagement with other RDA STEM groups to explore existing or developing similar initiatives

Meeting agenda

1. Presentation and demonstration of the images as data idea behind this BoF (20 minutes) - including compelling examples of linked STEM data using cultural and heritage science data
2. Overview of the objectives for moving forward and discussion of how to engage with current interest groups, (discussions, all participants) (40 minutes 
3. Identification of other potential group )members (all participants) (5 minutes) 
4. Summary of the results, actions, and identification of contributions of the group members (20 minutes)

Panel members will include: Fenella France, Tom Cramer, Glen Robson, Alberto Campagnolo.
The minutes of the meeting will be published latest one week after the session as an attachment to the session’s web page.

Target audience:

The target audience of this meeting may include other scientific discipline interest groups, cultural heritage members, libraries and archives, research data repository or infrastructure developers and providers, others interested in linked open data between related scientific disciplines. A declared goal of this session is to structure potential future RDA engagement and learn from colleagues in various related scientific disciplines who are facing similar issues for linking data to images. Session organizers would welcome suggestions for improvement and groups to interact with within RDA US and EU. Useful preparation for the meeting would include reviewing presentations at the Rome IIIF international conference meeting from June 2017 (

Group chair serving as contact person: Fenella France

Type of meeting: Informative meeting

Remote Access Instructions:

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

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