HP Helps The Wildscreen Trust Create ARKive: ARKive Provides Digital Safe Haven for Records of Endangered Species.
BRISTOL, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2003
HP has engineered and funded the technology behind ARKive, a global database designed to preserve images and recordings of endangered species launched today by The Wildscreen Trust. HP's support for ARKive showcases its long-term commitment to invent and deliver technological solutions that create real social value.
In total, HP has contributed over $2 million worth of expertise and technology to help ARKive create digital profiles for thousands of species, each with up to 10 minutes of moving footage, six to 10 still images and two minutes of audio, together with useful cross references. A team of five researchers from HP Labs has worked on the project to meet challenges including scale, complexity, diversity, and longevity of multi-media.
"Through our partnership with ARKive, HP has made a lasting contribution to the future of education by creating a secure and lasting home for endangered species information," said Nick Wainwright, Manager of the Digital Media Systems Department, HP Labs. "ARKive will be a vital resource where everyone can learn about the importance of bio-diversity, and the research will be fully accessible to all through the Internet, indefinitely."
HP Labs custom-designed a media capture system for digitising, cataloguing and tracking high-quality video, stills and audio for ARKive's records. The system is primarily a suite of Web application components, designed and developed by HP Labs to encompass the stringent requirements of ARKive. It can capture high-quality videos at 40 megabytes per second and still images at 60-100 megabytes without compression. The system also supports the capture of complex metadata, including information of the origin of the media, its content and processes used to digitise it.
Once the information has completed the media capture system, it is automatically moved into an HP-created media vault for preservation. This has an initial capacity of up to 74 terabytes of data, which is roughly the equivalent to the amount of storage in 7,000 home computers, and scalable to a petabyte. The storage systems are highly robust, including duplicate hardware and multiple copies of media to be stored at multiple sites.
"We envisioned ARKive over 10 years ago, but had to shelve it because the technology of the time could not cope. HP understood the full extent of our needs and provided a relevant solution," said Harriet Nimmo, ARKive Project Manager, The Wildscreen Trust. "HP Labs has been vital in closing the gap between technology needs and our vision."
"The monumental challenge for ARKive in media management and preservation is one that many businesses, institutions and even governments increasingly face," said Andrew Nelson who manages the HP Labs part of the project. "Working with ARKive has given us the opportunity to expand HP's own capabilities and now our researchers are the European leaders in rich digital media management."
Among the highlights of the site are the only surviving film of the extinct thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) and the last known shot of the golden toad. ARKive will also host a UK chapter celebrating Britain's natural heritage, with almost 600 digital photographs and video of native plants and animals, including the familiar such as the sparrow as well as the rare or threatened.
ARKive goes live on May 20th and will be freely accessible via the Internet on www.arkive.org. Despite ARKive's best efforts, records of many of the species are still to be located. A "Most Wanted" list will be included on the website to promote those species that still need to be profiled. The site is aimed at anyone with an interest in the natural world, from school children to scientists.
For more information on HP Labs please visit www.hpl.hp.com/arkive.
ARKive is being developed as a new kind of Noah's Ark. It is using 21st century skills and technology to provide a safe haven, which this time, isn't just for animals. What this Ark will have on board is the equally endangered, ultimately as vital, records of the very existence of key species. Images and recordings are one of the most emotive and powerful means of raising public awareness, igniting the very first spark of interest in natural history.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.
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