N.B. that this page is 'historical'. More current material, tracking continuing work in this area, can be found in my 2003- log file
Computer Science 402 ( Course
Home Page )
Spring term 2001
This is where I'll keep track of my version of what we're doing in the course. I've been accumulating a Log File for a couple of months, and I'll continue to add to it as I find material.
Here's the Quintessence of the Problem with which we're wrestling:
...after taking approximately 300,000 years for humans to generate 12 exabytes [an exabyte is over 1 million terabytes or a million trillion bytes] of information, the next 12 exabytes will be accumulated in just two and a half years... only about 20 perscent of the world's data resides in relational databases; the rest is in a combination of flat files, audio, video, prerelational, and unstructured formats --not to mention the mountains of paper-based data just waiting to be digitized. The result of incorporating all these different data types and sources is that data management is changing into a broader category of managing content that includes all data types... (InfoWorld 16 April 2001, pg 42)What to read? Where to begin?
Bruce R. Schatz Information Retrieval in Digital Libraries: Bringing Search to the Net (Science Volume 275, Number 5298, Issue of 17 Jan 1997, pp. 327-334) is a concise review of historical developments.Some classics that everybody should encounter:
Ben Schneiderman Codex, memex, genex : The pursuit of transformational technologies (International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 10:2 , pp. 87-106) and Multi-dimensional information visualizations from On-line Library of Information Visualization Environments and a large collection of Schneiderman's CS technical reports from U. Md.
Vannevar Bush As We May Think (The Atlantic Monthly Volume 176, No. 1, Issue of July 1945, pp. 101-108)
JCR Licklider Man-Computer Symbiosis (IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics March 1960, pp. 4-11) and The Computer as a Communication Device (Science and Technology April 1968)
Information Central for the course may be the NSF Digital Libraries Initiative home page
...and a local project: Building a Digital Library of Spatial Data and Images for Rockbridge County
Consider the example of the word informatics, which seems to crop up frequently. We can interrogate various online sources to get an idea of senses, of frequency, of context, of evolution... and each gives us different kinds of answers and provokes different questions.
Here's what the OED says:
informatics informæ;tiks. [tr. Russ. informátika (A. I. Mikhailov et al. 1966, in Nauchno-tekhnicheskaya Informatsiya XII. 35), f. information: see -ics.] (See quot.1967.) Cf. information science (information 8). Hence infor'matical a., informa'tician....but if we do a search of the Web with google.com, the vast majority of links are to sites concerned with 'medical informatics' (though other compounds certainly occur: 'social informatics', 'driving informatics', 'legal informatics').
1967 FID News Bull. XVII. 73/2 Informatics is the discipline of science which investigates the structure and properties (not specific content) of scientific
information, as well as the regularities of scientific information activity, its theory, history, methodology and organization.
1970 Times 2 Sept. 9 It was agreed..that an introduction to Informatics should form an integral part of general education.
1972 Jrnl. Librarianship IV. 177 The name Informatics satisfies several criteria for the designation of a new discipline.
1972 Jrnl. Librarianship, IV. 177 Other terms can be derived from it, such as Informatician for a person who is engaged in activities in this field..and the
adjective informatical, to describe the attributes of the field.
1973 Times Lit. Suppl. 28 Sept. 1133/1 The problem falls into two parts: the preparation of decisions, which is a matter of informatics, and the making of the decisions themselves, which is a matter of `politics'.
A search of Annual Reviews turns up 28 occurrences of 'informatics' (the first in 1995, in AR Anthropology and AR Public Health) and 41 of 'bioinformatics' (the first in 1996, but most in the last two years).
SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts) finds 3967 occurrences --the
oldest in 1970, but the real growth from 1986.
Science has 82 occurrences of 'informatics' since 1995.
JSTOR finds the first occurrence of 'informatics' in Science to be 1979 (a company name, in an article's bibliography), and 'bioinformatics' in a 1990 article on the human genome project.
A link to the original organizational scheme for Roget's Thesaurus (with links to the text as well), as an example of a schema for "all human knowledge"
...and my take on types of digital libraries
A clumsy and preliminary summary of findings for Assignment 2
My candidate for a Digital Library : JSTOR
Important information sources for Projects:
D-Lib Forum and ACM Digital Library and IEEE Digital Libraryand a Memex-inspired site: Memex and Beyond from Brown