Collaboration with Libraries
A system such as the one developed in this project presents some institutional challenges. On the one hand, its function is publication and archiving, making data persistently available and citable. These activities and aims suggest a good fit with libraries as curatorial institutions for publications and repositories. On the other hand, the system is designed and planned as a research tool, with planned investment in a front end interface that will support remixing of models into scenes and editing of model components. These functions may be less well aligned with the missions of libraries, and consequently harder to support within a libraries’ overall software infrastructure. While recognizing that some aspects of the system may fall outside libraries’ core remit, they remain the institutional home of choice for this system when development is complete.
Given the rapidly changing nature of 3D web technologies, it is certain the system will need to be updated repeatedly. In planning this, it is essential to consider a collaborative relationship with the library host instruction and to facilitate updates by aligning where possible with commonly used infrastructure. From this perspective, the use of Fedora, widely deployed in libraries, simplifies the situation, as this system would be easily updated as part of a general update. In developing the interface for the system further, similarly it will be important to consider what systems are already in place or commonly used in the sector to maximize the ability of library digital teams to support ongoing updates. The project currently uses three.js, which is widely employed in the 3D web sector, but may have less uptake in the libraries community.