ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996
ERCIM participated at the Conference on Information Society and Development
by Jacques Ducloy
Developing and developed nations launched a 'Dialogue' on the Global
Information Society at the Conference on Information Society and Development
(ISAD), hosted by the
South African government in Midrand 13-15 May 1996. The ISAD Conference
was a follow up to the G7 Conference on the Information Society hosted by
the European Commission in February 1995. ISAD was attended by ministers
and senior officials from 40 countries and 18 international organisations
as well as leading businessman. In the exhibition that was held in conjunction
with the conference, theG7
Pilot Projects demonstrated their first results showing network services
or relevant projects. Exhibitors included Canada, France, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA and also the European Commission.
ERCIM was asked to exhibit in the French area of the exhibition on the stand
of ORSTOM, the French
scientific research institute for development and cooperation. László
Kovács (SZTAKI) and Jacques DUCLOY (INRIA) were responsible for the
ERCIM demonstrations. These were focused on 'Tools for the Information Society',
with two kind of applications: digital libraries and 'how to build a web
server'. The presentation was dedicated to the experimental ERCIM library.
Several ERCIM members have already built a first prototype of a European
Digital Library for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. It is currently
possible to access technical reports and similar material stored in a number
of important European IT research sites (SZTAKI, INRIA, CNR, FORTH, INESC,
SICS) and also in major US universities and institutions. This project uses
the DIENST protocol of the US Networked Computer Science Technical Report
Library (NCSTRL) project, but will be developed to include several European
oriented extensions and in particular to permit multilingual access and
retrieval of documents.
A demo which attracted a lot of visitors was the 'Virtual Visit of Art Nouveau
in European cities' (http://www.loria.fr/AN).
This project, carried on at INRIA, proposes to use the European Art Nouveau
collection along various axes: museographics (for the network of European
towns and cities involved); touristic (to make the cultural products available
throughout the world for commercial, informative or promotional purposes);
educational (from students to research); artistic (offering artists new,
little-used media). It is also a research and development platform for designing
new WWW tools. Once the attention of the visitors had been caught by the
artistic attractions, it was possible to speak about tools (the DILIB toolkit
from INRIA) and standards (SGML, WWW etc.).
Close to ERCIM and again on Digital Libraries, another important demonstration
was organized by the Bibliotheca
Universalis. Bibliotheca Universalis is an electronic library project
that will offer the major works and artifacts of the world's cultural and
scientific heritage via multimedia technologies to foster cross-border dialogue
and enhance services to end users. Its objective is to create a large distributed
virtual collection of the humankind's knowledge, and make it available to
a wide public through networking.
For ERCIM, this exhibition was an excellent opportunity to establish some
fruitful relationships with G7 projects.
Jacques Ducloy - INRIA
Tel: +33 83 59 30 38
return to the contents page