Virtual Vellum

Virtual Vellum is an e Science demonstrator project that has been funded by EPSRC/JISC/Arts & Humanities e-Science Initiative and the UK e Science Core Programme with the aim of promoting and demonstrating the use of technology within arts and humanities research.

The aim of the project is to investigate technologies that facilitate the retrieval, manipulation and annotation/hotspotting of very high resolution image datasets (typically greater than 8k x 6k pixels). Each dataset may consist of many hundred images, such as those from digitised manuscripts. The Froissart Manuscript Project will provide the initial collection of images for the development process, however the viewing environment will provide a generic viewing tool for researchers and will be able to handle arbitrary image collections.

Flexibility in terms of accessing image datasets will be given by including the ability to retrieve data from a local hard drive, over the internet, and via a Data Grid using Storage Resource Broker (this will primarily make use of the White Rose Grid and the Worldwide Universities Network, WUN). Motivated by the potential bandwidth issues associated with retrieving large images over a network, the effectiveness of encoding the images as JPEG 2000 will be assessed and implemented within the project.