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An Intelligent General Public Data, Voice and Picture Storage Retrieval System


The DOMESDAY project undertook a range of research and development activities in the field of intelligent data, voice and image storage and retrieval systems. It covered the development of a compact electronic storage system capable of providing rapid random access to very large volumes of multimedia information, such as maps, photographs and other analogue-stored pictures held with digitally held text and data. Moving video and sound were also incorporated in the database. Particular emphasis was given to a very user-friendly interface which implemented knowledge-engineering techniques. The project aimed at improving the acceptability of these systems and making them complementary to current systems through prototyping LaserVision technology combined with new advanced user interfaces based on high-level expert systems. The design of the system concentrated on widely available low-cost workstations. s.

A series of major demonstrator projects were completed using the LaserVision ROM system in the field of multimedia image-based storage and retrieval systems for DOMESDAY, ECODISC, VOLCANOES and EUROFLORE.
The analysis of hardware architecture based on the LaserVision ROM for a future system was supported by the Imageur Documentaire, in which the key requirements were for an interactive and user-friendly image databank.
The general and public usage of large-scale, multimedia databases was greatly stimulated. In the case of the DOMESDAY system, more than one thousand copies are now in use, mainly in the UK.
The development of a LaserVision optical disc player ran in parallel with the ROM disc development. Two additional authoring packages have been developed, Domesday Display and DataMerge. These are both floppy disc based add-ons. Domesday Display consists of two discs, "Presenter" and "Captions". "Presenter" is like an electronic notebook, and allows the user to store, in any sequence, the results of their searches for easy recall and presentation. "Captions" allows the user to produce a storybook of up to200 images from the vast pictorial resources on LaserVision discs. The original system consisted of a BBC micro and a LaserVision player. Later developments in the project resulted in a PC-compatible system in order to align with standards in Europe.In addition, studies of image databanks and of the pertinent market sectors were conducted.


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