There are three types of users of the Image Library:
The Image Library represents an implementation of the Wide Area Large-Data-Object architecture that the Imaging and Distributed Computing Group is developing. This architecture provides a distributed, wide area network based approach to collecting, cataloguing, storing, and providing Web access for large-data-objects that originate as high-speed data streams. Such data streams originate from many types of on-line instruments and imaging systems, and are a "staple" of modern intelligence, scientific, and health care environments. The approach provides for real-time conversion of the data streams and large datasets to "objects" that are searchable, browsable, persistent, and available to both "ordinary" and high performance applications through the integration of a high-speed distributed cache and transparent management of tertiary storage. The user interfaces - for both application users and data collection curators - are provided by the capabilities of the World Wide Web.
The capabilities of the architecture are not unlike a digital library system, providing persistence, searchability, curation, flexible user access, high capacity, etc., and we give an example of an image library that has been built using this architecture. However, our approach particularly addresses the issues involved in creating such digital library-like collections automatically from the real-time output of, e.g., intelligence imaging systems, scientific instruments, health care imaging systems, etc.
Two interesting ImgLib collections that are publicly viewable are Berkeley-Lab on-line photo archive, consisting of selected images from the Lab's photo archives and Lung_stucture consisting of high-resolution micrographs of lung tissue provided by Jacob Bastacky.
The article "Historical Collections for the National Digital Library: Lessons and Challenges at the Library of Congress" (part 1, part 2) from "D-lib: The Magazine of Digital Library Research" describes work in the Library of Congress to put image collections on-line as part of their National Digital Library project. There are many parallels between their work and ImgLib.
ImgLib is copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.