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11 Jan, 2006
A summary of the Virtual Lightbox for Museums and Archives project funded by the distributed e-learning strand.

Please describe the tool you are building

The VLMA is a tool for collecting and reusing distributed visual archives via RDF syndication and peer to peer technology. The VLMA tool will allow users to browse and view museum and archive collections with heterogeneous metadata sets.

What problem do you see the development of this tool helping to address?

The VLMA addresses the realisation that digitized museum content is usually presented to visitors in a manner that minimises its potential for reuse and integration with related resources. Firstly, the VLMA will allow museum professionals to quickly and efficiently present existing resources on the web, rather than recreating content in html pages or hiring expensive IT professionals to organise their data. Secondly, the VLMA will allow users to study, compare and reuse material from one or many disparate archives, according to their needs.

Who do you see the being the primary user(s) of this tool?

Teachers and Learners who want to access museum content

How do you see your tool being used?

Through the VLMA teachers and learners will be able to collect examples from one or more museum (or archive) databases, organise them as desired, add further content, if they wish, and reuse the results of their research. In the simplest instantiation of a service, a client browses online objects in a collection, which he then captures to the VLMA. The VLMA then displays the images and metadata sets associated with this object, and "syndicates" them as a local collection, which appears in the service hierarchy alongside other collections that have been discovered on the network. The client then has several reuse options, such as annotation, publication, export and local storage.

To use your tool, what infrastructure etc (if any) will be needed? (ie - could it be used stand-alone? Would it need a VLE/other system to be in place?)

The VLMA is an applet that be used on any web browser.


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