MDID ingenuity

Another week, another conference. Now I’m getting ready for the annual Art Libraries Society (ARLIS) conference, which will take me to Banff this year. (For those amongst you who are jealous, I personally think it’s only fair, since I’ll also have to go to DC 3 times this summer.) I’ll give a talk on the changing landscape of licensed digital resources called “No data is an island, entire of itself”, and in gathering my materials, I e-mailed with Christina Updike and some of the programmers who work on the Madison Digital Image Database, better known as MDID. They’ve devised an ingenious way for bringing images from CAMIO into their instructional technology tool, which allows instructors to select, arrange and project digital images. CAMIO has a feature which lets a user e-mail an image to an address of their choice. Release 0.7.0 of MDID exploits this functionality. An instructor e-mails an image to a generic local MDID account; the MDID application checks the account, ingests the image along with the descriptive metadata (supplied by CAMIO as a csv attachment) and adds it to the instructors’ personal image collection. Furthermore, it also suggests the image to the visual resources curator for the MDID installation as a potential addition to the database.

I think this is a great way of getting images out of the database and into the classroom, and letting your users help with content selection to boot. In an upcoming release, MDID will also make use of the XML Gateway for RLG Cultural Materials to seamlessly integrate that content into its interface, and ARTstor has promised to do the same.

If you still hunger for more visual resources news, consider downloading the new report “Use and Users of Digital Resources: A Focus on Undergraduate Education in the Humanities and Social Sciences” from the Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley. Enjoy!