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AMICO Technology Committee

AMICO Technical Committee
Conference Call

Friday January 9, 1998
2:00 p.m. EST

Summary of Discussion



    1.1   Resolution
    Images contributed to AMICO should have a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

    Existing images at resolutions below 1024 x 768 (such as those at 800 x 600 created by the National Gallery of Canada for its CD-ROM project) will be accepted as part of the university testbed library, with the understanding that they may have to be replaced in subsequent years. Those museums who intend to submit at a lower resolution, are requested post notification. It is not recommended that images created or sampled for AMICO be at resolutions less 1024 x 768.

    The University Testbed project will study what resolution is required for particular functions (e.g. project, lab study on a monitor) as an explicit part of its research agenda. These findings will be incorporated into the next round of submissions of image data to AMICO.

    1.2   Bit Depth:
    All images will be 24 bit color.

    1.3    File Format/Compression:
    Images should be submitted to The AMICO Library as uncompressed files in the TIFF format. This will enable future compression by a distributor without loss of quality. Certain research uses also require uncompressed images.

    AMICO members will also be given the opportunity to produce their own compressed files to the specifications of any particular distributor. These files would be provided in addition to the uncompressed TIFF and on a schedule defined with the distributor.

    Distributors will be asked to declare their image sampling/compression processes, for AMICO review and approval. AMICO members will also be given an opportunity to review the results of distributorÍs compression routines.

    1.4    File Names
    All associated media files, text, image, multimedia, etc., will follow the same naming and linking conventions.

    Filenames will be entered in the appropriate (Related-Images) field in the AMICO main catalog record.

    As there are many differing schemes in use in AMICO member institutions, file names will not be assumed to have any meaning. The characteristics of images will be recorded in their accompanying metadata records.

    AMICO filenames are comprised of three parts:

      Institutional abbreviation [4 letter prefix - as with AMICO-Identifier]
      . identifying string of characters
      .file format suffix [3 character MIME type extension, e.g. .tif; .jpg, cgm, mov]

    File names can be comprised of any characters except * and ?; and may be in upper and lower case.


Each image or other media file will be accompanied by a separate structured text metadata record, containing the following minimum fields:

DC.Description [overall; detail of lower left corner]
DC.Publisher {name of institution]
DC.Identifier [name of file]
DC.Resource Type [digital image; multimedia; text; sound; video; virtual reality]
DC.Format DC.Format.Encoding [GIF, JFIF, TIFF]
DC.Format.Dimensions [1024 x 768]
DC.Format.FileSize [2.7 MB]
DC.Format.Compression [JPEG]
DC.Relation [records where/how the file was derived]
DC.Relation.Type [is.format.of ... has.format ...]
DC.Relation.Identifier [id of related image]
DC.Rights [Copyright statement for the image or media file] ADDED based on discussion.

Sample metadata records will be posted on the AMICO Web site, along with sample image and media files.

Delimiters and character set specifications will be identical for metadata records and for the AMICO main catalog record.


Specification of AMICO thumbnails was discussed briefly. It was acknowledged that the thumbnail specification could be finalized as part of public catalog specification.

    3.1    Resolution
    It was recommended that AMICO thumbnail images have a maximum dimension of 96 pixels, and that they preserve the aspect ration [proportions] of the original image.

    Sample thumbnail images will be created for review and approval of the 96 pixel dimension.

    3.2    File format
    24 bit JPEG files were preferred.

    3.3    Creation
    Thumbnails may be created by AMICO distributors, following an AMICO approved specification and quality control process.

    As with compressed or sampled images, AMICO members can create their own thumbnails to specifications that will be agreed upon by AMICO.


    4.1    Test Data Images
    A subset of the test data images will be linked into the AMICO server for review and comment.

    4.2    Watermarking, authentication and color management
    Issues of Watermarking, authentication and color management have been deferred for university testbed data. However, they have not been removed from the agenda, and we would still like to develop an approach that will be incorporated into first production system. A&MI will explore holding a meeting on these issues in conjunction with the AMICO University Testbed participants in June of 1998.

    4.3    Image Capture Guidelines
    Scott Sayre and Alan Newman have made a good start at image capture guidelines, sharing their expertise with the AMICO list. Others who have developed an approach are encouraged to join this discussion. Once images have been submitted, we will discuss the formalization of imaging guidelines further.

    TO DO: Post your image capture procedures to the Hypernews disucssion list.



    1.1    AMICO Identifier
    Assign a four digit AMICO member identifier followed by a period followed by accession Number. Members are invited to select an identifier, first come-first served (institutions with 3 digit id's may select an identifier with an underbar, as in AIC_; MIA_).
    Example: NMAA.97-4386

    1.2    Object-Type
    Object Type will be assigned by all AMICO members from an extensible value table initially consisting of:

    Proposed List: AAT Terminology:
    digital image electronic images
    drawing drawing
    installation installation (sculpture)
    multimedia multimedia work
    painting painting (visual work)
    pastel pastel (visual work)
    photograph photograph
    print print
    sculpture sculpture
    video video art
    watercolor watercolor

    The AAT terms for these concepts often, but not uniformly, contain the parenthetical qualifiers. If AMICO members prefer, we could use those terms.

    TO DO: Post your comments on the value list to the Hypernews discussion. Nominations for high-level decorative arts terms are requested.

    1.3    Classification Term
    Not Required.
    Classification Term will be recorded if members classify their objects using a local vocabulary. If members use an authority file, this should be included as the Classification Scheme, to form a Classification group together with a Classification Scheme.

    1.4    Measurement - Dimension, Measurement-Dimension-Quantity and Measurement-Dimension-Unit
    Required. Measurement-Text.
    Not required. Measurement-Dimension, Measurement-Dimension-Quantity, Measurement-Dimension Unit.

    Good practice suggests using all these in the future, to allow computer processing on these values. If AMICO can parse the Measurement-Text, we will return the parsed data to those institutions which can store and use it.

    1.5    Creator-Name and Creator-Nationality/Culture
    Either Creator Name or Creator Culture is required for all works.

    1.6    Creator-Role
    Not required

    1.7    Creation-Date-Text, Creation-Date-Start, and Creation-Date-End
    Required. Creation-Date-Text.
    Not required. Creation-Date-Start, and Creation-Date-End

    1.8    Proposed addition of Context-Date to Context Group for dates discovered, renovated, etc.

    This addition enables the use of the Context group of fields to record details about archaeological excavation of a work

    1.9    Style/period
    Not required.
    The addition of this field by AMICO was discussed. This is problematic for some members. The type of Style/Period designation most useful to users will be explored by AMICO during the University Testbed year.

    1.10    Ownership group
    Required. One occurrence of the Owner group, referring to present owner
    Not Required. Ownership-History-Text, to be renamed as Provenance-History-Text and made repeatable for instances of prior ownership.

    1.11    Copyright

    Not Required.
    Copyright statement will be used to record known encumbrances on the work of art.

    Copyright Link will be used to record a URL that links to a page on each memberÍs web site detailing how to contact their rights office to license further rights.

    1.12    Related-Image-Description, Related-Image-Type, and Related-Image-Identifier
    This group repeated for each image.

    Related-Image-Description references the view of the original provided by the image, from an extensible list. Proposed values:

      full view
      # of degrees
      in context

    All are assumed to be recto unless qualified with "verso" e.g. verso: full view

    TO DO: Post your comments on the value list to the Hypernews discussion.

    Related-Image-Type, renamed Related-Image-Relationship-Type
    Records a DC.Relation. Use the subelement DC.Relation.HasFormat with the value 'Has Format' for an original work of art which is analog; and 'Has Version'' for an original work of art which is digital.

    Records the file name of the related image.

    Full example
    Related-Image-Description: full view
    Related-Image-Relationship-Type: HasFormat
    Related-Image-Identifier: NMAA.97-4386a.jpg

    Note: Full details about the related image will be recorded in its metadata record.

    Not required. This is an indicator of the preferred status of an image. Y or N

    1.13    Cataloging-History
    Not required.

    1.14    Proposed elements for version control

    Required, but created by AMICO, not the museum contributors.

    Version control will be provided by two new fields added by AMICO on validation of the data - a validation-date and a validation-dictionary-version. These will be supplied to the distributor but are not part of the specification for data coming from members to AMICO. Data in these fields will be created by AMICO.

    1.15    Label-Copy
    Not Required.
    In the discussion it was considered desirable. But this field is recognized to be of little use unless AMICO members could agree on what it contained, and agree to provide it consistently.

    Members agreed to generate examples in the next week to help decide if this is sufficiently straightforward as to allow it to be required. If so, the issue will be revisited.

    TO DO: Post examples of label copy to the HyperNews discussion.


    2.1    The designation "Required, if Known"
    We agreed in the discussions that we can dispense with the data dictionary identicator that an element value is "Required, if known" since earlier AMICO agreements stated that _all_ data would be provided if known.

    2.2    Output file structure: Delimited fixed order or tagged
    We agreed in the discussion that files will be provided to AMICO as tagged records with field and end of record delimiters as follows:

      a) Each field in the AMICO Record will be assigned a tag (see data dictionary) which must precede each occurrence. Groups of fields which are repeating together must be preceded by a Group tag.

      b) The field delimiter (}~) should occur at the end of a field. Individual fields which repeat should just be repeated with their tag preceding the next value.

      c) The record delimiter (|) should occur at the end of a record

    2.3 Character set
    We agreed that the Latin 1 character set (ISO 8879-1986) is required.

    2.4    Sort order, Creator Names
    We agreed, in the absence of parsed sub-fields for personal and corporate names, that Creator Name will be provided by the museums in sort order, whether personal or corporate. This will mean, in most cultures, that family name will come first. In Western cultures, the family name would be followed by a comma and the given names of the individual. For other cultures, the expression should reflect the way that names are usually written when family name sorts first. For corporate names, the sort is usually natural order, dropping non-sort words if not part of the legal name of the entity.

    We acknowledged that this will introduce some inconsistencies that will ultimately have to be addressed by shared authority files.

    Robin Dowden agreed to post a proposal for fielding the various elements of names to begin the discussion of further standardizing our approach to names.

    2.4    Data verification and enhancement
    We briefly discussed data enhancement, and agreed that the return of enhanced data to member museums is dependent upon the museums being able to incorporate it into their systems. Otherwise, AMICO will have to repeatedly process members data.

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