Over the past months, a review of cloud computing technologies has been conducted by a working group consisting of The Danish Agency for Culture, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed in the Netherlands, The Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Vilniaus Universitas in Lithuania, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen in Germany and Univerzita Komenskeho v Bratislave in Slovakia.
Findings of this analysis have been published in a report (first project deliverable), available from the LoCloud web site.
The document provides a state-of-the art of cloud computing with a specific focus on the uptake of cloud computing by small and medium-sized institutions in the European Union. It presents three situation reports from Spain, The Netherlands and Denmark, looking into existing cloud based collection management and digital library services and offering a description of the relation of LoCloud to the Europeana Cloud project.
Below is a summary of the main findings of the report.
- Although there is interest and willingness to participate in cloud-based development amongst heritage institutions, there is also some reluctance mainly due to lack of knowledge and skills.
- There are a number of Saas (Software as a service) providers providing services for the cultural sector. Some of the commercial vendors of collection management systems offer cloud based versions of their software, and in the library domain the OCLC offers a number of relevant services. However, none of these come with plug-in aggregation tools for Europeana.
- The LoCloud community consists mainly of small and medium-sized institutions which lack financial and intellectual resources to create, purchase, regularly update and maintain software tools and services for digital heritage use. The scope of LoCloud is to create these required cloud-based micro-services and cloud computing tools in the area of metadata interoperability, content aggregation and harvesting, informational infrastructure, multilingual controlled vocabularies, historical place names, geo-location and metadata enrichment, usage of wikimedia applications and professional networking.