Monday, December 31, 2007

Digitization (definition)

Once an area is established, we tend to forget that some people don't know the basic terms or might not use the same definitions as the rest of us. So, this is the first of several posts of definitions.

What is digitization? Digitization is the process of converting analog information into digital format. The materials to be converted could be letters, manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, audio recordings, microforms, motion pictures, ephemera, etc. Three-dimensional objects can also be digitized. The goal of digitization is improve access to the materials. To that end, most digitized materials become searchable via databases on the Internet.

In order for the materials to be digitized, they must be converted using a method to capture the material digitally (e.g., scanning, digital photography, digital recording) without altering the information that the material contains. That means that the digital representation contains the same information/data as the analog representation.

A wide variety of equipment is available to assist in this process. Standards and guidelines exist in order to ensure that the conversion processes used are consistent and that the results are of a high-quality.

Other Digitization 101 posts on digitization include:

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1 comment:

NatureWoman said...

"Three dimensional objects can also be digitized." Do you expound on this somewhere? I've worked for Kirtas digitizing books and I still volunteer at OHA digitizing photos / papers, but never really thought about the three-D items. Thank you!