Hurst Assesses Google Book Search, Offers Training
My esteemed colleague, digitization expert Jill Hurst-Wahl, has done a preliminary analysis of Google Book Search, including the quality of the images the service provides. Unfortunately, Jill’s early report is not encouraging. “If you search through the materials, you’ll find items where the images are very crisp and clear, and others that are blurry and (perhaps) sloppily done,” Jill says, suggesting that the image quality is inconsistent. Now, if the page image is the source material — Google is not providing lots of text from the material for fear of fanning the flame of copyright concern more than it has — what good is it if it is blurry?
Jill’s preliminary analysis points to something we have discussed often throughout 2005: it is difficult to provide consistently high quality work in a digitization project. Most people equate digitization with scanning. Digitization is not scanning; scanning is scanning. Digitization, on the other hand, is a planned, comprehensive, systematic approach whereby a piece of information that exists in analog or paper form is transformed into a digital form and made accessible in the new, digital form. (I’m sure Jill will correct this definition where it is lacking.) There can be several dozen factors that one must consider within a digitization project or program, including the quality of the source material, pixel count, image format, storage size of captured image, network loads of aggregated captured images, findability, and metadata.
To this end, Jill and I are teaming throughout 2006 to provide training sessions on digitization project management. The schedule below is what we have confirmed as of this writing; I will update this listing as we receive more confirmed dates. If you or your organization are investigating whether to launch a digitization initiative, are in the midst of a digitization initiative, or need digitization training or case studies, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jill Hurst-Wahl at email@example.com.
Digitization 101. How is Google’s Digitization Quality? Nov. 30, 2005.
Digitization Project Management Essentials
Computers in Libraries conference, Washington, DC
Saturday, March 25, 2006 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Digitization is much more than converting a physical or analog object into its digital equivalent: It is about efficiently repurposing crucial information resources to improve an organization’s retention and use of information. Yet most digitization projects are doomed from the start because the focus is on the conversion process instead of other, critical pre-scanning issues such
as selection criteria, preservation of original documents, metadata creation, software and hardware concerns; integration into existing systems; and legal issues.
This workshop introduces the critical issues every organization must consider when approaching a digitization project, including the copyright issues inherent in any digitization project, and how copyright can govern whether or not a digitization project is even viable. It provides an update on the status of the world’s most famous digitization project: Google’s proposed
digitization of the holdings of five of the world’s leading research libraries. Participants will leave with a conceptual understanding of the life cycle of a digitization project, allowing them both to investigate their own projects more critically, and move from working on a single project to creating an ongoing digitization program.
Digitization Project Management in a Nutshell
SLA Virtual Learning Series
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 (time forthcoming)
This session introduces participants to the core project management tools involved in creating, managing, and preserving digital assets, including:
- When should you digitize, and why;
- Overall project management considerations;
- How to decide what materials to select for a digitization project;
- Storing and accessing digital materials; and
- Best practices
Registration information forthcoming for Digitization Project Management in a Nutshell
Managing Intellectual Property Issues Within the Digitization Project
SLA Virtual Learning Series
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 (time forthcoming)
This second session builds on the basics learned in the first session and analyzes how different areas of intellectual property will affect different phases of the project plan, including:
- What “intellectual property” really means (including an introduction to the IP landscape);
- Identifying the copyright issues inherent in digitization projects (including the public domain, the library and archival limitations, and fair use);
- Why licensing agreements and subscriptions may curb your digitization project;
- Why confidential and proprietary information must be handled differently; and
- An update on the IP issues in Google Print’s Library Project.
Registration information forthcoming for Managing Intellectual Property Issues Within the Digitization Project
Digitization Essentials Workshop
SLA Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD
Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, 2006
Participants in this pre-conference workshop will be introduced to some of the critical issues every organization must consider when they approach a digitization project, and will be engaged with on exercises and simulations that discuss and analyze real-world situations. In particular, these two, half-day morning sessions will provide participants with a firm conceptual understanding of the life cycle of a digitization project, which will allow them both to investigate their own projects more critically, and move from working on a single project to creating an ongoing digitization program. The lecturers also will provide an update on the status of the world’s most famous digitization project: Google Book Search.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.