Saturday, 2 August 2008

Post Repository Fringe notes

Fred Howell (from Textensor Ltd) gave an interesting demo/presentation on how to enhance your repository with online PDF / Word / HTML annotation using A.nnotate - a tool that can be used by researchers to share and edit and comment on ideas, papers, online articles. A lot more intuitive, streamlined and functional than Google Docs and the like users can use this tool complete with a host of Web 2.0 functions for free (30-100 pages per month). For further information visit:

Another gadget that may be of interest although I've yet to play with it is the Widgenie numeric data visualisation tool (similar to Numbrary, Infochimps, Swivel etc) - "the all-powerful data visualizer" - a feature I'm interested in exploring is the use of data from one of Widgenie's data feed partners (a feature coming soon). I'd be interested to hear from anyone that has used the utility in anger and how it compares to other visualisation utilities.

Finally following on from my presentation at Repository Fringe "Open Data, Open Minds - web 2.0 data visualisation tools" I had a new look at the Palimpsest project where Google want host large scientific datasets (see URL: - "(Google people) are providing a 3TB drive array (Linux RAID5). The array is provided in a “suitcase” and shipped to anyone who wants to send their data to Google. Anyone interested gives Google the file tree, and they SLURP the data off the drive. I believe they can extend this to a larger array ( 20TB?)" - They have also earlier made a claim to be interested in researchers' 'dark or negative' data i.e. data from inconclusive or failed experimentation. Any comments?

Stuart Macdonald
DISC-UK DataShare

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