Since April we have been working hard on developing the existing workspace ensuring high quality image viewing and annotation capabilities, developing and extending existing open source software. Currently we are setting up a new server and integrating the workspace into a more robust framework. The project is working on an iterative development cycle, which started with user testing and requirements gathering and is now in a phase of intensive development. We hope to have an early version of the VRE available for demonstration at the end of October and would be delighted to hear from anyone who would be interested in seeing the system, or who has ideas as to how the workspace might be extended to suit their research needs.
The BBC are reporting that Google have reinvented sneakernet to move terabytes of data between groups of researchers. Rather using fast networks or datagrid technology, they have a project shipping Hard Drives back and forth to move large academic datasets. As the old saying goes:
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
Last week was the Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts conference, this being the first year to include "the Arts". I'm not sure how much difference it made to the sessions I attended, though I did enjoy the installations and performances that were spread around the site.
One difference I did notice was an increase in the number of times ontologies and ontology development came up during the meeting. Compared to last year, the use of (or at least interest in) Semantic Web technologies for the Digital Humanities seems a step closer
This month sees the introduction of our new BVREH website! The site provides information and updates on the latest project news together with blogs from myself and John, RSS feeds and forthcoming news/events about the BVREH and for the humanities research community. The site also provides the opportunity to sign up for the BVREH newsletter, which will be a fairly low-volume letter of news, upcoming events and project progress direct to your inbox.
January and February have been extremely busy months for the BVREH project, John and I have presented our preliminary findings to various audiences, including the VRE Programme meeting (conveniently held at the Said Business School, just down the road) and to a range of humanities researchers and interested parties from across the University at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII).
Both events were extremely useful, moving the project along with further ideas, greater insight into the needs of researchers and plenty of food for thought. All of the presentations are now available on our news page and further information and a summary of the outcomes of the event will soon be available in the first of the BVREH newsletters.