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Volume 7 / Issue 5

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-007-05-0400


Graphics Content in Digital Libraries: Old Problems, Recent Solutions, Future Demands

Dieter W. Fellner (Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany)

Abstract: Working with the ubiquitous Web we immediately realize its limitations when it comes to the delivery or exchange of non-textual, particularly graphical, information. Graphical information is still predominantly represented by raster images, either in a fairly low resolution to warrant acceptable transmission times or in high resolutions to please the reader s perception thereby challenging his or her patience (as these large data sets take their time to travel over congested internet highways).

Comparing the current situation with efforts and developments of the past, e.g. the Videotex systems developed in the time period from 1977 to 1985, we see that a proper integration of graphics from the very beginning has, once again, been overlooked.

The situation is even worse going from two-dimensional images to three-dimensional models or scenes. VRML, originally designed to address this very demand has failed to establish itself as a reliable tool for the time window given and recent advances in graphics technology as well as digital library technology demand new approaches which VRML, at least in its current form, won t be able to deliver.

After summarizing the situation for 2D graphics in digital documents or digital libraries this paper concentrates on the 3D graphics aspects of recent digital library developments and tries to identify the future challenges the community needs to master.

Keywords: 3D graphics, computer graphics, digital documents, digital libraries, electronic documents, graphical information, pattern recognition

Categories: H.3.7, I.3.5