Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bibliotheca Alexandrina - Behind Closed Doors

Here is the story!

As we are approaching graduation in about 1 month In Shaa' Allah, Some companies are interviewing and hiring. Some companies are announcing themselves. Some companies are showing up in the market, taking the cover off their projects, attracting fresh minds to work with them :)

Here we go... The last Sunday -May 4, 2008- ICT department of Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) made a tour for my class... A tour Behind the Closed Doors of BA... A tour to reveal their projects... A tour to show up the stuff they work on... A tour to express what makes them busy... A tour that attract us to work for BA... So, after this great tour, what did we see? Here are some about their projects:

Virtual Immersive Science & Technology Applications (VISTA)
Well, It's a Virtual Reality applications, taking you inside the model, giving you the sense you are there in a real world... Using a special glasses, you can see 3D objects on 4 projector screens... By visualization of models, VISTA can be helpful with many fields of science. For example:
  • VISTA can help in the study of the effect of wind on the Sphinx using a 3D simulation that shows which areas of the Sphinx are most affected by the wind.
  • VISTA can help in Architecture too, a model of the BA is built. You can navigate throw it, even inside the building, emphasizing every single detail on walls, floors...etc
  • VISTA can help in Chemistry. Studying how atoms move, joint and split inside on the state of chemical atoms.
Check here VISTA website for more information, Demos, VISTA Projects...etc

Internet Archive
Hey, Web pages on the Internet are being modified, updated, removed and added frequently. Consider how would it be annoying if you want to go back to some page you've already read, but unfortunately the page is removed or modified so you can't get the desired info. With Internet Archiving, this problem can be solved. BA is proud to have on of the two copies of the Internet Archive allover the world. Personally, I found an older version of my homepage using their URL search.

Well, You can check the Internet Archive here.

Hmmm, I don't wanna make it long for you, I'm just talking briefly about two more projects.

Universal Networking Language (UNL)
The idea is that it would be much helpful if anyone can read any book in his preferred language -even the book is already written in another language- So, what about translation from language to another. It can be awful and hard. Consider that you want to translate 5 books in 5 different languages to the other 4 languages!! You'll have to run the translation process 20 times!! Hah, that's too much. Here came the concept; By using a UNL syntax each book is transfered once into the UNL syntax and then using a UNL compiler, the desired translated version of the book is output. Well, this seems easier. The UNL is describing semantics and not syntax of different languages.

Check here for more information.

Digital Asset Repository (DAR)
What is the DAR? I quoted the answer for you...
The Digital Assets Repository (DAR) is a system developed by ISIS to create and maintain the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's digital collections. DAR acts as a repository for all types of digital material (obtained from the Library or acquired from other sources), preserving and archiving digital media, and providing public access to digitized collections through web-based search and browsing facilities.
More information about DAR is here.

This is not all what we saw. We've been to the servers rooms, digitization rooms...etc But the post is getting too long :)
Wanna know more! Go here to the ISIS (International School Information Science) website, it will tell you what you need to know :-) All these projects are part of the ISIS work.

Note: All links on this post are last accessed on May 6, 2008

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