Our ordinary everyday life develops through roads of images. Real world is converted into images by new media so that we often perceive images as if they were reality. Most of them have no inner significance other than their appearance. Nevertheless, by attracting our attention, they move unconscious feelings and have a strong impact on our behaviors. Others are extraordinary pieces of synthesis of complex facts or events, that stimulate in-depth analysis and reasoning on ideas, facts and ideals.
Digital technology promises to create new media like digital sound and three-dimensional digital objects that will add massively to digital images and video soon. All of this stimulates new research to provide solutions for effective content representation, efficient storage and reliable transmission, satisfactory retrieval and realistic and exciting visualization. The emergence of new terminals like wearable screens, tabletops, 3D displays, PDA devices… also requires new answers for content adaptation and manipulation to improve the end user’s satisfaction.
We have asked some of the most active researchers in the field of digital libraries worldwide to discuss and present their viewpoints and current research. With the VMDL07 workshop on Visual and Multimedia Digital Libraries we aimed at creating a high quality opportunity for a meeting and public debate between researchers and users to better understand where we are and where we believe is interesting to focus research on digital libraries, in the next future. Prof. Edward Chang, from Google Research, has accepted our invitation to give an opening lecture on challenges and remedies of multimedia data management in the web scenario. Twenty six other research groups will present their ideas and proposals in the form of live demos, to permit a full appreciation of principles of operations, effectiveness and limitations of their approach. Audio, images, video, 3D objects and digital libraries architectures are the main topics that will be discussed. Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, a non-profit organization located in Florence, Italy, aiming at the definition of standard, methodologies and tools for digital memories creation, usage and preservation, is in charge of organizing an open discussion between end-users, operators, researchers and institutions on present and future of digital libraries applications.
The definition of this workshop has been solicited and supported by DELOS Network of Excellence , promoted by the European Commission, now running its fourth year of activity, that has the great merit to have gathered researchers, activated exchanges and stimulated research and dissemination initiatives. We thank ICIAP 2007 organizers and GIRPR , the Italian Association of Researchers on Pattern Recognition, for having given hospitality to VMDL07.
We strongly believe that such types of events may be highly profitable for both researchers and users communities. We believe as well that having presentations with live demos instead of traditional talks is nowadays unavoidable, if we should give adequate importance to research innovation transfer.
We hope that the quality of the speakers and the efforts of the organizers will be rewarded by a successful event.