Implications of method, users and collections

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Advances in computer technologies are realizing the dreams of a growing community of people that use multimedia information for work, education, and entertainment. It is now possible to create database systems that provide instant access to text, graphics, sound and video, enabling a wide range of previously impossible applications.


The amount of information available on the Internet, primarily by way of the World Wide Web, is truly staggering. According to one measurement, in February 1999 there were about 800 million web pages publicly available on about 3 million web servers, for a total of approximately 9 terabytes of data (Lawrence, S. and Giles, S. L. 1999). These enormously large numbers are a testament to the success of the Internet in providing a way for people all around the world to share information and communicate with each other.
In addition, since the study does not even mention the existence of other forms of data available, such as audio or video (movie) files, one could infer that the amounts of data publicly available in other multimedia forms is overshadowed by the amount of text and image data. Clearly, text is the dominant format of data on the web.
The main reason for this propensity towards text was because of the capabilities of the technology available. In the past, network bandwidth was generally low, as was disk space, memory space, and processing power; for this reason, non-textual data such as images or sounds could not be supported by most computing platforms. ...
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