Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking the "Repose" Out of Repository

Presentation given at VIVA/LAC Meeting at Bridgewater College on December 10, 2010.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching with Technology = Teamwork

SECAC VRA affiliate session: "United We Stand: Forging Partnerships in Support of the Digital Classroom"
Chair: Jeannine Keefer, University of Richmond

"Teaching with Technology = Teamwork"
Corinne Diop and Christina Updike, James Madison University

Teaching with technology requires tools and support from many areas on a University campus. At James Madison University support can be drawn from the Center for Instructional Technology, the Center for Faculty Innovation, and the Visual Resources Center of the School of Art and Art History. Faculty have access to a wide range of technology in support of their curriculum. The Madison Digital Image Database (MDID 3) is a system for managing digital media collections and integrating those into the teaching and learning process, the Media Viewer is the presentation tool used in Technology Classrooms, JMUtube allows posting of licensed or self-produced videos, and Blackboard is a hub for course information and communication. A team of University staff works campus-wide developing the programs, providing technical training and support, and proactively researching what will be needed in the future. This paper will discuss how a partnership with visual resources staff and faculty can build the network of support necessary to teach with technology. Features of two online courses, the History of Photography and a Screen-based Photography/Video course, will be demonstrated as successful examples of the digital classroom.

Presentation Narrative

Friday, July 30, 2010

MDID3 Status

To the MDID User Community:

Please note that the recently released version of MDID3 is a pre-production release and as such should NOT be used in a production environment. Our intention with this release is to give interested members of the MDID community a preview of how MDID3 will look and work. This version of MDID3 is not meant to replace MDID2 at this time. We are still actively developing important features; such as remote collection sharing, remote collection searching, presentation packaging, user management, streaming video, a desktop version of the ImageViewer, etc.

During the fall semester at JMU, we will run both MDID2 and MDID3, using the migration tool to periodically copy MDID2 data into MDID3. Faculty and students will experiment with MDID3 but will rely on MDID2 for course-critical work. Our plan at JMU is to have a full-featured ImageViewer (with dual screen support) in the classroom by the end of September and a production-ready version of MDID3 online by the end of this year.

In a previous message, we suggested some steps your institution can take to prepare for migration from MDID 2 to MDID 3. Administrators should document any customizations, including custom user authentication. Curators should clean up collection metadata fields and map as many fields as possible to the relevant Dublin Core fields. The MDID 3 migration tool will copy users, groups, collections, records, etc. Due to differences in data structures and permissions, the results of the migration need to be reviewed before the new system is put into production, but none of the user data stored in MDID 2 should be lost.

Thank you for your continued interest in the MDID system and your support for our development efforts.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Instructions for Installing MDID3 on Windows 2008

Instructions for installing MDID3 on Windows 2008 are now available. Also look at Upgrading from MDID2.

MDID3 is still in development. A number of features required for use in a live production environment are not yet complete.  These include remote collection sharing, remote collection searching, presentation packaging, user management, streaming video, etc.  We recommend that you continue to use (or start using) MDID2 in production until these features are completed. To make this easy, we are distributing MDID3 with a migration tool that allows you to periodically copy your MDID2 data into MDID3 (note that data cannot be copied from MDID3 to MDID2). In this way you can run both versions in parallel for the purposes of evaluating and testing MDID3.

Please report bugs in the software or problems with the installation instructions to  We ask everybody to refrain from submitting new feature requests or asking about release dates for particular features at this time.  We will announce new features as they become available. Upgrading MDID3 from one version to a newer version will be easy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

MDID 3 Status Update

We're almost there!

MDID3 went into live testing at James Madison University a couple of weeks ago, with a small number of faculty and curators making sure the migration and fundamental functionality work as expected.

Before we officially announce and encourage others to download and install a beta version, we need to fix a couple of last-minute bugs and create more detailed installation instructions for the different supported platforms.

As always the current development version is available in a Google Code repository at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Federated Search

Several people have asked for a demo of how collections external to MDID 3 will be searched. The video below shows an example using the NASA Image eXchange (NIX) collection.

After running a search on "Titan", result counts from Flickr, ARTstor and NIX are displayed. Opening up the NIX screen, any record can be selected and immediately added to a presentation or viewed in detail. Flickr will work in the same fashion. ARTstor images can only be displayed as thumbnails until they are imported into MDID 3 manually, and of course an ARTstor subscription is required.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MDID 3 Flyer

Several people have asked for a PDF version of the MDID 3 flyer distributed during the VRA conference. You can view it online and download the PDF.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

VRA 2010 MDID Users Group Presentation

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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

See us at VRA Atlanta

We'll be showing the latest developments on MDID during the following sessions:

Thursday, March 18, 2:00-3:30pm
SIG Meeting: MDID Users Group

Friday, March 19, 3:30-5:00pm
Ask the Experts Forum: MDID

Friday, March 19, 5:00-6:30pm
SIG Meeting: VRA Digital Matchmaking Group

See the complete conference schedule

Monday, February 15, 2010

MDID 3 as a platform for building innovative multimedia applications

This post has originally been published in the February 2010 issue of Images, the newsletter of the VRA.

MDID 3 will feature an updated version of the familiar interface for discovering images, building and presenting slideshows and managing collections. Beyond the familiar, MDID 3 will also serve as a powerful platform for building innovative, web-based multimedia applications. The MDID 3 core stores, manages and delivers data records and media files; web developers will be able to author customized user interfaces to take advantage of specific MDID 3 core functionality.

The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) at James Madison University (JMU) is currently using the MDID 3 platform to power JMUtube, a web application that allows faculty to upload and manage video and audio files for delivery to students through a variety of venues, including class web sites and Blackboard. JMUtube takes advantage of the MDID 3 core to store video and audio files and associated metadata. It also uses MDID 3 to manage user accounts and create thumbnail derivatives for audio and video files. JMUtube users, who for the most part are not teaching with still images and do not need the full functionality of MDID, may not even be aware that they are using an MDID-powered web application.

CIT is also using the MDID 3 platform to create a highly specialized oral history web application for history faculty. All audio files and associated metadata and audio transcripts are stored and managed by the MDID 3 engine. A novel interface allows faculty and students in the history department to synchronize audio time lines with typed transcripts. A web page for each composite record allows users to listen to the audio recording as the transcript automatically scrolls in step with the recording. Such functionality is beyond the scope of the traditional MDID web application, since it is only applicable to a relatively small set of records.

JMUtube and the oral history project exemplify the manner in which MDID can move beyond a single discipline into multiple disciplines. Imaginative faculty and skilled programmers will be able to collaborate to create innovative and useful multimedia applications. Once completed, the applications can be easily shared with other institutions as add-ons to existing MDID 3 installations.