o b s o l e s e n c e

With such a long term project, beginning as it is in the early development of digital imaging protocol, there will undoubtedly be a rolling obsolescence of the data formats and codecs. Maintaining a consistent appearance throughout the movie may be desirable, although the changing feature of the image quality due to upgraded systems may become visible as an interesting corollary effect and theme.

Considering the rate of development of digital imaging, capture chips should be as large as possible, collecting as many pixels per image as is currently possible. Even with resolutions on the order of 10 mpixels/image, the data rates and storage needs can be easily accomodated with current networking and flash ram technology.

Some process of updating seems inevitable to maintain the readability of the images from the rapidly evolving world of browsers and internet protocols. This is a significant problem for many different sets of digital data, and one that has as yet been poorly addressed. One possible solution is the programmed upgrade of archives. Such an automated conversion system may already be in existence, if not, the analysis and construction of such a scheme may be useful to many other managers of long term data sets.

A more obvious solution would be to archive the images in a less volatile format. Such an archive clearly adds a layer of expense and complexity, but will assure long term accessibility of the images. One such method of archiving would be to convert the digital data into a color separated monochrome film positive print via an electron beam recording technique. This technology is fully developed and being used on a large scale to archive color film negatives and digital video.

copyright (c) 2004 Proud Ape Productions
Images courtesy NASA and NOAA
email: Nesdon Booth
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