I gave a presentation recently and bemoaned the fact that I didn't have a metric for describing the number of open access books that had been scanned by the Biodiversity Heritage Library (22,000 at the time of the presentation). Is that the size of a book mobile? A small public library? A rare book reading room?? No one can give me a good metric for visualization.
Lo and behold, that very day (no joke) the NYTimes ran a story about Luis Soriano, a Columbian who loads up his "Biblioburro" - two burros carrying books - and takes them from village to village. A 10-legged bookmobile (8 on the burros, 2 on Luis), if you will. Luis has 4,800 books. So, finally, I had a metric for BHL...if 2 Biblioburros can carry 4,800 books, then for the sake of visualization I'll say that 1 Biblioburro can carry 2,400 books. BHL, to date, has scanned 9 Biblioburros of content! Woo hoo!
I gave another talk at the Biodiversity Informatics Standards (dubbed TDWG; don't ask) annual conference in Fremantle, Australia, on the advantages of JPEG2000 for use in natural history museums and libraries, given its superior compression technology over traditional JPEG. I took the Biblioburro concept a step further, and using metrics & averages from our scanning efforts, determined that 1 Biblioburro is carrying an average of 1,000,000 pages of literature, which equates to 24TB of RAW or TIF images, and only 2TB of JPEG2000 images, demonstrated here:
If you want to know which of these is easier to manage & maintain, just ask the donkey.
Here's the presentation, along with some other information about JPEG2000, including a plug for the supercool new open source JPEG2000 server, djatoka:
Using the JPEG2000 image format for storage and access in biodiversity collections.