Monday, December 14, 2009

VRA Conference Atlanta 2010

The schedule for the 2010 VRA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA is available online.

MDID will continue to be represented with the MDID Users Group meeting on Thursday, March 18, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

We will also be part of an Ask the Experts session, probably the one on Friday, March 19, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, although this could still change.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Development Update

Development work on MDID 3 has continued throughout the summer and fall and we have made significant progress with the application core and frontend support. The MDID user interface and management tools are only partially complete at this time and require some additional work.

At this time we are targeting the 2010 Annual VRA Conference in March for the official release.

We are also experimenting with MDID 3 as the backend for different multimedia web applications here at JMU. We will shortly switch JMUtube, our faculty video site, to use MDID 3 as the data management system. The Shenandoah Valley Oral History Project will be another showcase for this new functionality.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Attending OSCON in San Jose, CA

I will be attending OSCON in San Jose, CA from July 20 to 24. If anybody is also attending or lives in the area and is interested in setting up an MDID Birds of a Feather session, please comment below or email

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Chapter meeting report

The VRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter met at James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA on Friday, May 29, 2009. The meeting report is now available.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Automatically generated thumbnails

Generating thumbnails from full-size images has been a weakness of MDID 2. Often the thumbnails ended up being pixelated, especially for line drawings and certain kind of photographs.

MDID 3 uses a different image processing library (PIL, Python Imaging Library) that produces much better results. I just created these samples for comparison:

The left thumbnails are saved at 80% quality, the ones on the right at 95% (and twice the file size), but both appear to be of reasonable detail and quality.

Friday, May 8, 2009

VRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter meeting at JMU

The VRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter will meet at James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA on Friday, May 29, 2009.

This day-long chapter event "Engaging in New Technologies," facilitated by staff from the JMU Center for Instructional Technology, will introduce members to several tools that can be used by visual resources professionals to promote their services and create an online presence for their Visual Resources Centers. Hands on experience with tools such as Google forms/sites/groups, Blogger, Twitter and Flip cameras will be the focus of the day.

And we are offering a door prize – a free Flip Camera will be given away at the end of the workshop!

The meeting will be held in at the beautiful new East Campus Library at the Center for Instructional Technology. Parking is close by. There will be a catered lunch, along with hands-on workshops held in the morning and afternoon. The schedule for the day is:

9:30-10:00 a.m. Registration/coffee

10:00-12:30 p.m. Workshops

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch/Chapter business meeting

1:30-4:00 p.m. Workshops and wrap-up

The workshops will be free for Chapter members, VRA members who are not Mid-Atlantic Chapter members will pay $15 and receive the benefits of a Chapter membership; non VRA members will be charged $20; there will be a $15 charge for lunch for all attendees. We welcome you to invite colleagues who might be interested in the program. Please be sure to RSVP (see below)!

Our hosts at JMU have set up a Google Site with the plans for the day, which includes the agenda, a survey for attendees to fill out before the workshop, picture of the flip cam door prize, directions to JMU with map to parking lot and the east campus library, etc.:

For those of you who may be considering staying overnight either Thursday or Friday here is the link to local lodging and dining facilities:

Please RSVP to Chapter Chair, Macie Hall: or 410-516-6165 by 5 PM (EDT) on Wednesday May 20.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New content on demo site

The MDID 3 demo site has new content to match the images available on the older MDID 2 demo site.

At this point the only available functionality is a preview for the new explore feature. More features will be added to the demo as development progresses.Please note that in order to see any content, you have to log in using "demo" as both the username and password.

Since this is still an early version, you may run into bugs - please feel free to post comments in reply to this post, but hold off on reporting them via email (unless it sets your computer on fire or something of similar magnitude).

Edit 04/16: A login and password is no longer required.

Friday, April 10, 2009

MDID 3 Beta Test Sign-Up

We have received multiple offers from institutions to help out with the MDID 3 Beta Test later this year. To better be able to keep track of all interested people we set up a simple sign-up form here.

We will notify anybody who signed up once we are ready to start beta testing MDID 3.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Development contract awarded

JMU has awarded a contract to TapHere! Technology, LLC from Haymarket, VA for software development services to create connectors between MDID and other services including ARTstor, Flickr, PowerPoint, and Blackboard.

This work is funded by an IMLS grant titled "Making Connections: Linking MDID to Other Digital Image Systems and Tools."

Friday, March 27, 2009

VRA 2009 MDID Users Group Presentation

Here is the presentation from last week's MDID Users Group at the VRA conference in Toronto. Session notes will follow soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting ready for VRA

We are getting ready to leave for Toronto tomorrow.  Thanks to all who submitted questions and participated in the user survey (which is still ongoing, so if you have not filled it in yet, please do so).  The MDID users group session is Saturday morning at 9:00 am - see you then!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Questions for MDID session at VRA conference

If you plan on attending this year's MDID session at the VRA conference in Toronto, please let us know of any specific topics or questions you want us to talk about!  By posting them in a comment below you allow us to prepare an answer or add the topic to our presentation.  Thank you!

Monday, January 5, 2009

How do you search?

Finding content is one of the biggest issues with any system.  We would like to hear from you how you search for images in your MDID installation, and also how you wish you could!

For example, do you mostly use the keyword field, or do you use more specific fields like title or creator?  Do you enter multiple words?  Do you prefer AND or OR searches, or need both?

Thank you for your input!