Title:Exhibits on Demand—Project Goals and Approach
Authors:Joan Nordbotten
Publication:MW2002: Museums and the Web 2002

Museums world-wide are deploying both virtual exhibits and multimedia collections for use by researchers, educators and the general public. With today\'s technology, users searching for thematic information from multiple autonomous sites must perform a series of separate processes to locate a reference list to relevant sites, search each site for relevant information, extract relevant data, and construct a local collection for ?off-line? development of an integrated presentation. The users? problem can be summarized as a need for methods and tools to assist in locating, accessing, and extracting relevant information from multimedia, multi-database systems developed and maintained by autonomous museums. Two principal problems hinder support for location and access to multiple data sources. First, there is a lack of agreement on how semantically consistent metadata for description of data collections should be created. Thereafter a user-friendly query language and processing system must be developed to support the formulation of search criteria, search in a multi-database space, and integrate and present the search results. This paper presents the motivation, goals, and approach taken for a newly started project that aims to develop methods and tools to address these problems by integrating and extending existing methods and tools developed separately for metadata, multimedia, and multi-database management. The primary goal is to develop a system to support dynamic generation of specialized collections as the result of an easy-to-use query language to multiple museum collections, i.e. a system to support exhibits-on-demand.