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6A. Technical Infrastructure: DIGITIZATION CHAIN

Key Concepts


system integration




For the purposes of this tutorial, the digitization chain and the technical infrastructure that supports it is divided into three major components: creation, management, and delivery.

Image creation deals with the initial capture or conversion of a document or object into digital form, typically with a scanner or digital camera. There may then be one or more file or image processing steps applied to the initial image, which may alter, add, or extract data. Broad classes of processing include image editing (scaling, compression, sharpening, etc.) and metadata creation.

File management refers to the organization, storage, and maintenance of images and related metadata.

Image delivery incorporates the process of getting images to the user and encompasses networks, display devices, and printers. Issues associated with creating derivative images are covered in Presentation.

Computers and their network interconnections are integral components of the digitization chain. Each link in the chain involves one or more computers and their various components (RAM, CPU, internal bus, expansion cards, peripheral support, storage devices, and networking support). Depending on the specific computing demands of each component, configuration requirements will change. Therefore we will revisit computer needs each step of the way.

As we review each step, consider whether you'll conduct it yourself or rely on a vendor. (See Management, for more information on the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing). Those steps performed in-house require the most attention, though outsourcing doesn't reduce the need for a well thought out quality control program. However, in order to successfully evaluate and negotiate for contracted services, and to clearly communicate to vendors exactly what is expected, develop a baseline understanding of the concepts and procedures involved.

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