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NSC 'Cyber Island' project sets up photo gallery of Taiwan

(China Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)The National Science Council (NSC) has launched a new "Cyber Island" project to construct an online photo gallery of Taiwan so that perspectives of the island can be shared through digital photography, an NSC official said yesterday.

The project has been under preparation for months, and the project's Web site was launched Saturday. The photos can be accessed at http://cyberisland.ndap.org.tw/.(克萊兒註:數位島嶼。)

The Cyber Island project is a branch of the content development division under the National Digital Archives Program Taiwan (NDAP). The division has already established 17 digital databases -- such as the botany of Taiwan, the artifacts of Taiwan, and the architecture of Taiwan -- and Cyber Island is the latest.

Lin Fu-shih, an Academia Sinica researcher who manages the division, said the project's goal is to present a panorama of Taiwan, from what has happened in Taiwan's history to the everyday life of contemporary Taiwanese.

The NDAP was initiated with the goal of promoting Taiwan's digital content industry, a component of the "Two-Trillion, Two-Star" national development project.

Two-Trillion refers to the semiconductor and TFT-LCD industries, whose production has exceeded NT$1 trillion each, and Two-Star refers to the biotechnology and digital content industries.

According to the Web site of NDAP, before the program was launched, years were spent studying the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on socio-economics. These studies led to a belief that ICT had resulted in a fundamental change in the information dissemination process as more people use the Internet to get their information. Digital content, in the process, become vital in helping people understand the information they are getting.

Realizing the importance of digital content, the NSC initiated pilot projects in 1998 to study the feasibility of digitizing national cultural holdings. The first such project was the "Digital Museum Project" (克萊兒註:數位典藏國家型科技計畫。)that lasted for three years. Dozens of universities and research organizations participated in this project, which was the predecessor of NDAP.

At the beginning of 2004, there were nine public institutions that were the major content holders in Taiwan participating in the NDAP. They included Academia Historica, Academia Sinica, the National Central Library, the National Museum of History, the National Museum of Natural Science, the National Palace Museum, National Taiwan University, Taiwan Historica, and the Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council.

"We anticipate that more organizations, public or private, will join the effort to contribute to this program in the future," according to the NDAP Web site.

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