A new article from the BBC Blog discusses the future of the BBC, its archives, and the Digital Public Space project. The Digital Public Space project “is a partnership between the BBC and other cultural institutions in the UK, including museums, archives, libraries, galleries and educational bodies, all of whom share a vision of not simply using Internet technology as a distribution channel, but instead being part of that digital environment as it evolves: being part of the Web, rather than just on it.”

The Digital Public Space project “aims to be an access point for all of the UK’s cultural archives, marrying together both the rich information which has been carefully collated, checked and double-checked over the years by experts in their respective fields, with the more immediately-accessible higher level information and audio-visual material, both from the partners and around the Web.”

The article continues, “The first step along the way in achieving this is a prototype which is being developed that brings together the archives and catalogues of some of the partnering institutions (including the BBC’s) within an ‘Umbrella’ data model and creates a platform on which applications and interfaces for navigating, annotating and curating them can be built. Eventually, you would be able to access and add to this information through an online gateway, but there could also be specialist entry-points. For example, there might be an iPhone or Android app for exploring the history of your local area, or a YouView interface focussed on “British Ballet”. Part of what makes the project so exciting is that we really don’t know what kinds of interfaces and applications will end up being developed for the platform. The Semantic Web lies at the very heart of this.”

Image: Courtesy BBC