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Harmony Overview

Description of single-medium atomic digital resources has advanced in the past several years, due to the development of metadata standards such as Dublin Core, which provides a framework for describing simple textual or image resources, and MPEG-7, which will provide the same for audio, video and audiovisual resources.

While such single-medium documents are certainly useful and prevalent, the potential of digital libraries lies in their ability to store and deliver complex multimedia resources that combine text, image, audio and video components. The relationships between these components are multifaceted including temporal, spatial, structural and semantic and any descriptions of a multimedia resource must account for these relationships.

The Harmony project is an international collaboration funded by DSTC, JISC, and NSF, which ran for three years from July 1999 until June 2002. It's goal was to investigate a number of the key issues in describing complex multimedia resources in digital libraries through:

  • Collaborating with metadata communities to develop and refine developing metadata standards that describe multimedia components.
  • Investigating a conceptual model for interoperability among community-specific metadata vocabularies. Such a conceptual model should be able to represent the complex structural and semantic relationships in multimedia resources.
  • Investigating mechanisms for expressing such a conceptual model, including technologies currently under development in the W3C (XML, RDF, and their associate schema mechanisms).
  • Developing mechanisms to map between community specific vocabularies using such a conceptual model.

For any enquiries about the Harmony project please contact