Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beeld en Geluid

Beeld en Geluid is a Dutch organisation tasked with the maintenance, the safe guarding and the exploitation and exploration of the audiovisual heritage of Dutch radio and television. In Hilversum the centre of Dutch radio and television, they have a magnificent building that allows the public to experience this history, a big archive with room for people who want to research and an office with people tasked with opening up their data as much as possible.

Preservation of so much material is a big task, much effort is put into the digitisation of material. Not only the really old material but also much of the digital age needs care in order to preserve it for the future. As Beeld en Geluid is paid by the Dutch taxpayers, one of its tasks is to give this material a wider availability. They provide specialised tools for the broadcasting organisations, the researchers. Much of the material cannot be made available to the public because of copyright issues. It is reassuring to know that this material will still be there when it becomes public domain..

Beeld en Geluid is exploring MediaWiki functionality. Their need is quite different; much of the material that they want to include exists in all kinds of databases and it is a lot of hard work to make it into a Wiki. We discussed MediaWiki and its uses, we talked about technology, extensions like Semantic MediaWiki, the OmegaWiki mark II project..

As happens so often, we found that there are many organisations that use MediaWiki and with more collaboration MediaWiki would gain more utility. We discussed how such a thing could be done. One thing was clear before we can cooperate, we need to know our shared needs.
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