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Data Archive and Image Library

Science is both an individual and collaborative pursuit of knowledge. Progress in science requires that researchers share their insights. Often, though, only after hours of searching through library systems across the world can they locate each other's work. Inefficient access to information impedes the discovery process. Today, many computer and library scientists, as well as researchers themselves, are striv ing to build electronic archives of images and data, available to researchers anywhere at the click of a button.

Though distributed across computer networks, such digital libraries will appear as single archives. Simple key word searches will eliminate lengthy quests through disjunct libraries and streamline the flow of information between scientists.

Efforts are underway at NCSA to build a digital library for astronomy. Researchers who access this library would be able to compare their results quickly with data or images deposited previously in the archive. For instance, in examining a specific object in the sky, they might correlate images produced in different wavebands of the electromagnetic spectrum, or compare what the images show with theorietical predictions based on computer simulations.

Dick Crutcher, on-camera
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QuickTime Movie (3.6 MB); Sound File (2.2 MB); Text

The astronomy digital library will also provide a common database to widely dispersed researchers collaborating across high speed networks. Data or images appearing on-screen will be same, regardless of the locations of the p articipants.

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NCSA. Last modified 11/13/95