As we became increasingly involved in the Cultural Heritage sector, it became clear to us that there were a key set of fundamental services and solutions that any digital collection that wanted to expose their assets to researchers or the public would need. And that these services and solutions were being reinvented over and over again, eating up valuable budget that could be spent on more advanced features and better user experiences. So, we have set about building these generic services which now help drive our projects within this space, accelerating delivery times and concentrating budget on the innovation and quality of end deliverables.
Firstly emerged the Universal Viewer which is a viewer for digitised artifacts, it was built in collaboration with Wellcome and then the British Library to replace their many bespoke players. It has now taken on a life of its own as a successful community driven open source project that we continue to facilitate and provide services when required.
Secondly, a larger undertaking has been the Digital Libraries Cloud Service which is “a cloud based platform for hosting and delivering interoperable digitised content following common open standards”. It includes full International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) Support, a dedicated Annotation Server with W3C Web Annotation and Open Annotation Support, OCR and other text-related image processing, natural language processing capabilities such as named entity recognition and a unified content search across processed text and annotations.