Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CCC project updates - Nov and Dec

Hello everyone,

Without meaning to, I let two months go by without an update -- my apologies. Especially since lots of good things have been going on!

Top on the list was a very successful mini-meeting that we had at the beginning of December. Robin came over from the UK to spend a week at AAMHC working with Curtis to get a system in place to begin sharing with people at Zuni. Ramesh and I came out for a little while to see how things were progressing, and we were joined by Daf Harries, who is going to be our hired consultant to develop the mechanism to transfer data between the museum systems. He will be using an open-source program called CouchDB to make it happen.

As I understand it, CouchDB will create a duplicate database of the Zuni objects in each museum's collections, and since all of the partners will have their own local CouchDB databases, sharing information between them will be easy. Daf will develop individualized software to move data between each partner's CMS (Argus for example) and that institution's CouchDB system. And, each institution will be able to decide how they will handle updates coming in - whether they want to review them, have them automatically update their own catalogs, that kind of thing. As far as we can tell, this is the best solution to the interoperability problem that's been one of our biggest challenges. Daf created a presentation that explains how this is going to work a little bit better, and I've attached it to this message. More on this to come as things progress...

I am putting together my notes from this meeting to post on the project blog, so you all are welcome to take a look once those are up.

In other news, we have been hearing very positive things regarding the NSF proposal that Ramesh submitted several months ago. This proposal would cover an expansion of our project to include additional communities of 'experts' who will be making contributions to the system -- archaeologists and museum curators. Even better, this proposal would be able to fund more equipment like servers and computers at AAMHC. We haven't gotten a 100% yes that we're getting funded, but they have asked us for things like IRB certification, which indicates things are moving in that direction.

Something that came to my attention during the meeting was that Robin hasn't received the digitized images from DMNS -- Chip, I recall that those were either finished or nearly finished. Would you mind following up on that, and making sure that Robin receives those images, so he can get them into the system at Zuni? Thanks!

We also weren't sure whether we are expecting object images from Museum of Northern Arizona -- Robert, were we going to get images for the system from MNA? I can't recall...

And one last thing - we need to submit letters to IMLS that certifies each partner's contributions to the cost share. Our grant admin Tracy has been reaching out to the business reps at each of the museums, and she hasn't received a reply. I'll be sending out individual emails to each partner to facilitate this, so please look for that to come soon.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or concerns. Happy holidays to everyone!


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