[Air-L] ViewPlus: Feeling is More Than Seeing

Gerry Mckiernan gerrymck at iastate.edu
Tue Jun 10 14:13:11 PDT 2008


A Most Remarkable Development!


Not As Crazy As Some Say [:-)


What the ViewPlus technology does is to create image files that can be
rendered in tactile form (via a tactile touchpad or printed out with an
embossing printer) and also in audio (via text-to-speech technology). At
the core of this technology is an image format known as SVG (Scalable
Vector Graphics). Unlike bitmapped image formats like TIFF and JPEG, SVG
is an XML-based format that provides the images as vector graphics (the
core of PostScript and PDF) with text and metadata in XML.


The benefits to the print-disabled user are obvious. Dr. Gardner
demonstrated how a graph that was otherwise inaccessible to a
print-disabled user was made meaningful: He could feel the slopes of the
various lines on the graph, and as he did so, the software read labels
describing the lines, including the values of datapoints, as he touched


What the ViewPlus software had done with that image was nothing less
than adding the semantics that takes it from being "dumb" to dynamic
data. Imagine a whole collection of such images in which a researcher
could use a computer to search for certain patterns, values, and
features and do comparisons or calculations on them.

This is Tim Berners-Lee*s vision of the Semantic Web: information
that a computer can understand. Not just store, find, and deliver, but

Your Thoughts? Please Comment On The Blog Post on Scholarship 2.0 At



[ http://tinyurl.com/65bvhe ]


Gerry McKiernan
Associate Professor
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University Library
Ames IA 50011

gerrymck at iastate.edu 

There is Nothing More Powerful Than An Idea Whose Time Has Come
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