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Logo of the International Image Interoperability Framework

The Stanford University Libraries (SUL) has introduced new features in its online catalog, SearchWorks, and the Stanford Digital Repository to make it easier for users worldwide to get access to a treasure trove of high resolution digital images.  The basis of these new features is the International Image Interoperability Framework, a global initiative co-founded by SUL to support the creation of a global network of broadly accessible images curated and produced by libraries, museums, archives and galleries to support research, teaching and broad public use.  

IIIF is a new set of technology standards intended to make it easier for researchers, students and the public to view, manipulate, compare and annotate digital images on the web. It has been adopted, or is in the process of being adopted, by many of the world's cultural institutions who have been systematically digitizing their collections for years.  You can see a partial list of institutions adopting IIIF here.

Now when you go to any record for a digitized image in SearchWorks you will see the IIIF logo . This means that the image can be used in any IIIF-compatible viewer, making it possible to easily compare it to similar images at other institutions or to deeply analyse, manipulate or annotate them.  An example of a IIIF-compatible viewer is Mirador, which was initially developed at Stanford and is now being extended in collaboration with Harvard, the National Gallery of Art and several other institutions from around the world. Mirador is unique in that it allows a user to open multiple images in the same workspace to compare side-by-side and even draw annotations to highlight and describe regions of an image.  You can try Mirador at http://mirador.stanford.edu with any image that has the IIIF logo.  Below is a video of how to open a Stanford IIIF image and compare to a similar image in Oxford’s Digital Bodleian image database, which is also IIIF-compatible.  

 

IIIF is a relatively new initiative, but is rapidly being adopted by the great cultural institutions around the world, opening up interoperable access to tens of millions of high quality images (maps, photographs, books, medieval manuscripts, newspapers, art work) digitized directly from original historical artifacts specifically to support scholarship. Many of these images are not easily found in more popular image resources likely Google Images and Flickr. Tools like Mirador make it easier for scholars and students alike to assemble images from disparate online collections and engage in creative and novel forms of research and teaching.  

The Stanford Libraries has a systematic program of digitizing images, audio and video materials from our general collections, special collections and archives.  You can access these resources in the Digital Collections section of SearchWorks and at our online exhibits gallery.

Screenshot of Claudia's Data Visualization

The 2016 Summer Olympics are drawing lots of attention to Rio de Janeiro. But while most people are focused on the current games -- as well as current events, politics, and health issues that might impact the games -- others have been spending their time delving into the history of this more than 450 year-old city. And Stanford Libraries' own Claudia Engel couldn't resist dipping her hand in either.

In honor of the useR! 2016 Conference taking place this week, we wanted to outline ways researchers can use the Stanford Digital Repository to power their R visualizations.

The Stanford Digital Repository allow Stanford researchers and affiliates to deposit research data for preservation, access, and discovery. Data deposited in the repository is citable and from which the original content can be downloaded. The data is then made available through open web standard services for consumption. For example, images in the repository are delivered by a IIIF-compatible service, geospatial data are served out as Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS), and generic files are all served through HTTP.

R users can take advantage of these web services and the data being served out.

Water jet with x-ray pulse

When Stanford Digital Repository staff found out someone was depositing research data about using x-ray lasers to explode jets of liquid, I have to admit there was a bit of excitement. Researching explosions (even on a small scale) sounds like an immense amount of fun. But Stanford researcher Claudiu Stan and his colleagues were doing way more important things out at SLAC than just having fun. They were performing serious research into fluid dynamics.

Revolution annuelle de la terre autour du soleil. Compose et dessine par H Nicollet. Le texte de les fig. suppl. par E. Soulier. Paris, publie par J. Andriveau-Goujon, Rue du Bac, no. 17, 1850.

About this series

Over the next few weeks I will post a series of brief step-by-step "how-to" tutorials on making use of digital resources from the David Rumsey Map Center and Collection, that I presented in my "Hacking Rumsey" talk, presented at the opening events for The David Rumsey Map Center, at Stanford University Library.

We're starting small, with the easiest tools (like the David Rumsey Map Collection MapTab Chrome Browser Plug-in, which I covered in a previous post) that appeal to the most people, first. Eventually we will work our way up through more complex use of the collections and tools available from The Stanford University Library.

PURL page screenshot for Nick Eubank's Zambian 2006 to 2010 Constituency and Ward Boundaries

Inquiry from a hot zone

In late March of 2016, Frederic Ham, a geospatial analyst for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, also know as Doctors Without Borders) contacted Stanford University Libraries (SUL) looking for information. He needed data to help him create maps so that MSF could better plan their response to a current cholera outbreak in Zambia. He’d found what he wanted via SUL’s geospatial data portal, Earthworks, but wasn’t able to access it due to licensing restrictions. Was there any way we could help?

Robert Schumann, Drei zweistimmige Lieder (detail)

Rare Music Materials at Stanford is a Spotlight instance that presents materials from the Stanford University Libraries' collections that have been digitized in response to research requests, or were produced for small projects. Items and their downloadable images may also be found in SearchWorks, Stanford's library catalog.

Image of maps created with the use of the Stanford Education Data Archive
Educational opportunity is an important issue in a democratic society. In the United States, measuring educational achievement and opportunity is complex because the public education system is diffuse. Funding for public education depends on a combination of local, state and federal governing bodies. The variations in funding and community level support for public education and standardized testing makes comparisons and analysis across the U.S. an arduous task. 
 
This is why the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) deposit of the week is critically important to note. Stanford University Professor, Sean Reardon and his colleagues have just deposited the Stanford Education and Data Archive (SEDA) into the SDR for long term preservation. This is a data set that includes 215 million test scores and tackles the difficulty of comparing test score data from every public elementary and middle school in the United States for a period of 5 years, (2009-2013). What's brilliant about this collection of data is that, Reardon and his team developed a method to equate the scores across states for comparison enabling a whole new set of questions on educational opportunity to be answered, new stories to be told, and new questions to be raised.
 

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