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I2 Online Webinar: Big Data, Remote Processing, and Fast Networks in Digital Humanities

May 20, 2020, by Taleitha Pytlowanyj
Tags: Arts & Humanities, Frontpage News, high-performance computing, Higher Education, Research

In Spring 2019, the Getty Center partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Darmstadt, Germany, to test their autonomous photogrammetry-based 3D scanning machine, the CultArm3D-P, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Getty curators, conservators, and scientists identified art and study objects that were particularly challenging — intricate, tiny, reflective, or with semi-transparent surfaces like glass or plexiglass. 

Through a collaboration with research technologies at Indiana University, the team used high-performance computing (HPC) to enable parallel processing of these very large photogrammetry datasets.

They also built virtual machines and conducted benchmarking in these environments as they sought to develop best practices in the emerging field of 3D digitization.

On Thursday, May 28 at 1 p.m. ET, a team of experts from both organizations will give an online presentation on their collaboration and wider efforts to expand big data, fast networks, and high-performance computing systems to support the evolving nature of digital humanities.

Presenters include Dennis Cromwell, executive director of media preservation and digitalization initiative at Indiana University; Tassie Gniady, manager of cyberinfrastructure for digital humanities and creative activities at Indiana University; and Todd Swanson, digital imaging manager at J. Paul Getty Trust.

This type of collaboration has proved worthwhile as the need to access digital humanities resources has drastically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Is there a more compelling case to our work than the last three months? We are eager to continue providing remote and digital access to scholarly and cultural artifacts," said Dennis Cromwell.

The processing of individual items has slowed down, but a second service that digitizes entire spaces in 3D so users can "walk" through them is still in demand. As stay-at-home orders have begun to be lifted, the digital capture of three new spaces has been scheduled and will offer virtual tours of galleries and exhibits.

"Collaboration was an essential part of our work before COVID-19, and once we stabilize our local situations and adjust to this new environment, I believe collaboration across institutions and organizations will be even more critical than it was before," added Todd Swanson.  

We invite you to join the online presentation on May 28 at 1 p.m. ET. To join the live presentation, click the following Zoom link, Big Data, Remote Processing, and Fast Networks in Digital Humanities

About IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative

The IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI) is groundbreaking in its comprehensive, high-quality, and thoughtful approach to saving valuable audio and moving image research materials on media formats that are actively degrading and falling into obsolescence. The fields of media preservation, digital preservation, and archiving, along with a number of disciplines in higher education, all point to MDPI as a model large-scale media preservation project. MDPI has digitized over 340,000 recordings in less than five years, creating over 14 Petabytes of data that may grow to near 25PB by the end of the year. IT staff, media experts, archivist and librarians are all part of the project to capture this data and make it available to scholars inside IU and beyond.

About J. Paul Getty Trust

Getty is a cultural and philanthropic institution dedicated to the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world’s artistic legacy. Through the collective and individual work of its constituent programs—Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Getty Research Institute—Getty pursues its mission in Los Angeles and throughout the world, serving both the general interested public and a wide range of professional communities in order to promote a vital civil society through an understanding of the visual arts.